The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings for May, 2009: Our 2nd Anniversary!

by
The Catgirl Critics’ Media Mewsings
for May, 2009: Our 2nd Anniversary!
In this 2nd anniversary luau edition of The Mew:
Aloha & introductions
A brief look back at our purremier & 1st anniverary shows
What we’ve been up to since last month
What’s mew in the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art
Taur Talk: a topic of equine purrportions
Purrinted media: books, comics & purriodicals reviews
The Sports Illustrated North Carolina Tarheels Commemorative Issue,
One Standing & other publications purrtaining to UNC’s championship
Surfer Magazine May 2009 issue
Little Shop of Horrors Magazine #22
Justice League of America #32
Detective Comics #853
Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #5
The Complete Peanuts Vol. 11 1971 – 1972
Avvenire- Aria the Illustration art book
Star Trek Countdown
Our latest DVD finds at Big Lots
DVD, movie & TV reviews
Star Trek The Original Series Re-mastered First Season DVD
Scooby Doo and the Samurai Sword
Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire TV series
Captain Nemo and the Underwater City DVD
The Mysterious Cities of Gold DVD and
Dojinwork Vol. One anime + manga!
X-Men Origins: Wolverine review
The Lightning Round topic: potpurri
The monthly Lucky Kitty Web Comics Picks of the Litter
Our feature purresentation: an intermew with Ursula Vernon
Discussing favorite science fiction, fantasy & horror genres
women of color, part 2 (continued from last month)!
Anticipations for Summer Amewsments
_______________________________________________________

Bold red warningsindicate imminent plot spoiling information,
locations of hidden Easter Eggs or certain graphic descriptions
and bold greenafterwards indicates that it is safe to purroceed!
_______________________________________________________________
Aloha & Introductions!

Mike:
Welcome to our special 2nd Anniversary of The Mew, our monthly discussions, reviews, recommendations and interviews which tend to involve the genres of science fiction & fantasy! I’m Mike, the show’s ‘Purrducer’, who brings those catgirls the lovely food & beverages for taking the show time from their busy activities, andtoday’s special 2nd anniversary show comes from Catgirl island’s Susanowo Beach, where the mermaid friends can join us for the luau! We’ve got a great show lined up and our special guest is illustrator/ author/ cartoonist Ursula Vernon! And now, here are The Ladies of The Mew! First, our four Catgirl Critics-

Mary Nyan (Myayr for short):
(in the cute cutout Margay mailiot & Kuku Nut lei)
Konnitiwa!
Yvonne (Vonny for short):
(wearing Serval string bikini & purrky puma pareo)
Nameste, nya!
Jeannie (Jenjen):
(in Iriomote thong & matching sarong)
Nihao!
Elizabeth (Lizzy):
(in a tawny Lioness purrint suspender mailiot & a braided Pikake lei)
Hi Hi! We’ve got several friends joining us again for this month’s Mew! Please welcome frequent guest critic & Ju-Jitsu champion Nyanko-sensei
Nyanko:
(Lynxy bikini top, panther boyshorts, Gardenia corsage around happy kitty tail)
Howdy! And I’m glad our friend Ilyana is back from the mainland, where she’s getting her Masters Degree in Underwater Archeology!

Ilyana:
(Ocelot purrint bandau topped bikini & tuberose lei)
Wassup? We’re also pleased to be joined again by our Faerie friend who just flew in from the LPGA tour, Madam Mielikki-

Mielikki:
(a leafy Malia lei drapes off one of the faerie’s shoulders, as her iridescent
dragonfly wings shimmer out the faerie’s crisscross halter neck calico kini)
Mellow Greetings! And like enjoying a rare day off, here is the Purrpurrietor of the Kitt Inn Ryokan, Lady Nemui!

Nemui:
(Clouded Leopard ring closure bikini & Anthurium hair pick behind a kitty ear)
Aloha! And I brought with me to make her first appearance on The Mew, Catgirl Island’s Police Chief Meryl Murrey!

Meryl:
(in a Bengal Tiger stripe tankini, with a badge, whistle & radio)
A pleasure! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome someone else we were able to drag from work,  Miss Petra, our esteemed Curator of the Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art!
(applause from the gallery)
Petra:
(wearing the tabby crochet bikini & lavender orchid lei)
Thank you for having me- but I feel guilty for beign at a luau when we have so many visitors at the mewseum, especially to see the latest additions to the guest wing!
Mike:
But you need to take the fun break!  Also with us today are our returning mermaid friends from Sheila May’s Restaurant, located just off the coat! Let’s welcome back Sheila May’s, Mer-Madtr’d Ceresatami-

Ceresatami (Tami for short):
(Aqua colored jellycups: the trendy top made of 2 hollow jellyfish bells)
Bon jour! And this is Assistant Manager Tsuruku-

Tsuruku:
(Blue Tang pattern bikini top & seaweed lei)
Call me Tsu! And this is our Sommeleir Nelia-
Ne’ellakaliomi (Nella or Ne-san for short):
(ivory & beige eashell top & piku shell strands)
Charmed to meetcha! Next to me is our Bariste, Kianalani!
Kianalani (Lani):
(cute kelp knit tube top & yellow Plumeria lei)
Hola! And next to me is  Sheila May’s lightning fast Courier Melanakeami-
Melanakeami (‘Kami):
(Cherenkov Radiation Blue jelly cups)
Hi guys! And now, a Saucier, whose hobbies include beading, scrapbooking, gardening and knitting, our very own Nyssa-

Nyssa:
(ivory & beige striped seashell top)
Shello! Recently certified as a Paramermedic in the top of her class with hersearch & rescue manatee pup Avana-ruru, here is Lourdessaluorno!
Lourdessaluorno (Dessy):
(indigo jellycups)
Hi! Thanks guys! Say Hi to everyone, Rur-chan!

Avana-ruru (Ruru-chan)
(this search & rescue manatee pup just has on a GPS on a flipper band)

Mike:
(wearing a UNC Tarheels 2009 National Champions tee shirt & cargo shorts) I can see a bunch more friends & familiar faces in the audience! And there’s Jamie, our dear old friend, web master & creator of Clan of the Cats!
(cheers from the gallery)
Mary Nyan:
Wow between the mermaid shore patrol and Chief Murrey, this should be a fun safe beach party!
Meryl:
I’ll be here as long as I can!
A look back at our purremier & 1st anniv. shows
Mike:
It was just 2 years ago when we first heard:
(roll that feline femme footage)
Jeannie:
(calmly swishing tail) Aloha and welcome to the launch of the Catgirl Critic’s Media Mewsings!
Yvonne:
Meowllow Greetings! We’ll be chatting about recent science fiction, fantasy & horror movies, TV, books ‘n stuff.
Elizabeth:
Hi Hi! And Comics, and toys and… and stuff!
Mary Nyan:
Howdy y’all! Ok girls, let’s start the discussion with some film comments!
(back to the purresent)
Mary Nyan:
Our very first movie reviews were 300, Grindhouse, The HIlls Have Eyes 2, Spider-Man 3 and 28 Weeks Later!

Yvonne:
We also talked about the re-mastered Star Trek, Doctor Who and Galactica, nya!

Elizabeth:
Comic books we commented on then included DC’s World War Three, Trials of Shazam, The Sinestro Corp, Justice,
Marvel’s Civil War, the death of Captain America, World War Hulk, and Astonishing X-Men.
Jeannie:
And in Clan of the Cats, Dracula & Chelsea were in hell fighting the demons.
Mary Nyan:
That was the first time folks got to hear our dismay over cineamtic techniques such as speed ramping, crash zooms, and the jerky cam!

Elizabeth:
Mike was so new then at transcribing the sessions- he left out a lot!

Jeannie:
Which is probably why The Mew seemed briefer early on.
Mike:
But yes later I decided to record every detail down to every ‘nya’! But I think I got the hang of it by our 1st anniversary show!
Mary Nyan:
Well a lot of TV shows have a shakedown their first year to figure out what works best!

Yvonne:
I thought our 2nd Anniversary show would never end it was 2 or 3 times longer than usual, nya!

Elizabeth:
That was a long show- plus we got lost wandering around the newly renovated Catgirl Island Center for Purrforming Arts!
Jeannie:
That show opened with our lightning round about favorite Charleton Heston films, as he had recently passed away.

Mike:
Let’s take another peek at the past- here’s what the girls were wearing on that show!
(roll footage from 2nd anniversary show)
Elizabeth:
(Lizzy’s a lovely looking lass in a little black cocktail dress) Hi Hi!
Jeannie:
(quite cutely clad the catgirl in a crimson qipao) Nihao!

Mary Nyan:
(captivatingly clothed in a colorful kimono) Konnitiwa!
Yvonne:
(certainly such a sexy saree she’s wearing) Nameste, nya!

(back to the purresent)

Mary Nyan:
That was also our big Mewsic Special! And we intermiewed several special guests such as Captain Keela, Lisa Kyle, Three Quarter Ale, Phil Lee, Jeff Branch, and we chatted with Jamie about The Beatles and Clan of the Cats!
Elizabeth:
We reviewed Sweeney Todd that month and discussed favorite mewsic & radio purrograms. Vonny pounced upon Phil’s yo-yo!

Yvonne:
(the insistent tail swish) I could not help my nature, nya! I was going to give it back, nya!
Jeannie:
We should purrobably let our other guests purrticipate in this show at some point.
Mike:
And that we will, as the whole gang joins in- right after this short break!
(snip)
(one short break  later…)

Mike:
Hey we’re back to discuss-
What we’ve been up to since last month
besides enjoying a Spring-like Easter weekend with families & friends and
watching The Tarheels win the NCAA 2009 Mens Basketball Championship!
all in unison)
GO TARHEELS!
Mary Nyan:
(with a cup of fresh milk)  Aside from that, oh more of the same, when I haven’t been busy with the shrine matsuri I’ve been teaching hula & aerial dance, and hoping to have some costumes finished for the conventions!
Yvonne:
(with a cup of fresh milk) Well I still don’t have a water horse or a banker pony, but purrhaps it is for the best ’cause his continues to be a busy season for the yacht charters, nya. We’ve been reeling in such good catches of the the flounder, kings, reds, stripers, specks, and the sea bass, nya! Those have been keeping me so busy but did make it to my taiko circle and volleyball purractice- which someone missed last week, nya! (looks at Jenjen)
Jeannie:
(sips the nilla cream) Unfortunately I was occupied with another bikini photo shoot in Rio  when not engaged with the belly dance troupe, which has meant sadly not enough time devoted to the robotics club. What has Lizzy been up to?

Elizabeth:
Same as Myayr at the shrine, but busy with my loomi loomi sessions, beach volleyball, purrparing for the next stunt kite festival and hot salsa dancing. I have been wanting to go shopping and by some dance outfits for the hot salsa dance like Edyta wears on the dance show. What has Nya-sensei been doing?
Wild Banker Ponies and cran apple nummies
Lizzy hot salsas and belly dance tummies
Nyanko:
(drinks her nummy mocha milk) Ever since that I was featured in that magazine the phone has been ringin’ off the hook and I’ve had to get help with all the emails! But I’m staying focused on the purrize while training for the next tournyament, and the new kids jujutsu class at the dojo has been going very well- they work so hard and have so much fun! (looks toward Mielikki)
Mielikki:
(“Unfortunately”- hee! I have been like so busy on the LPGA tour, and was lucky to fly in just last night, you know! But while I am in town I’m gonna help out with the foxfire show in the grove
theater! (sips the bubble tea and glances at Tami to go next)

Ceresatami:
(with a sea quirt juice box) The restaurant seems to stay booked all the time, especially with folks lodging at The Kitt Inn who Lady Nemui keeps sending out way, hee! I’m lucky I still hav time for my advanced handbuilding & pottery wheel courses!
Tsuruku:
(also with a sea squirt juice box) Oh you should see what she entered in the craft show!
Ne’ellakaliomi:
(trying the Cran Apple Nummy Berry Juice Cocktail)! Tsutsu failed to mention the 2nd place ribbon she won in the English style seahorse riding competition!

(applause & happily swishing tails)

Winged Fey that golf under par on the green
Nyanko’s new joint lock makes opponents sting

Tsuruku:
(sip) Arigatoo! Well while we are mentioning awards, Lani here’s gonna win best of show in her division of the abyssal bubble photography category at the show!

(a collective “Woohoo!”)

Kianalani:
(chomp) Aww.. Thanks guys, but I don’t wanna jinx it though! There are a lot of stunning entries this year! (looks at Kami-chan)

Melanakeami:
(gulps down a piece of the conch sushi) MMM! (gulp) My turn oh well besides my job we had a ballet recital and I’m gonna enter a baked Barracuda dish in the cooking contest  too!
Nyssa:
The balloon- tell them about the balloon!!!
Von’s yachts and jen’s bots and mermaid with camera
Ballooning & ballet and baked barracuda

Lourdessaluorno:
Yeah!
Melanakeami:
My folks said if I keep up my grades they think I might get that hot air balloon when I graduate–
(more applause)
Melanakeami:
(fin flapping) The company said they usually try to keep water OUT of the basket, not in it!

Nyssa:
Maybe you could use the burner to make it a flying onsen!
Lourdessaluorno:
Yeah!

Melanakeami:
oooh…! Maybe down the current, but for starters it’ll probably just be a sprinkler nozzle. But enough about me- you’re the one with the important rescue certificate!

EMT training and piercings piscine,
DVDs in anamorphic wide screen

Lourdessaluorno:
That’s basically what I’ve been busy with, my job and EMT-P certification- and a certain manatee! (gives Ruru-chan some tasty sea grass, then turns to Nyssa to go next)
Avana-ruru
(snacking) nom nom nom
Ilyana:
That’s not all you got!
Lourdessaluorno:
Hai- Nyssy and I got our belly buttons pierced! (points to her silvery dolphin jewel)
Nyssa:
and I got this 14 gauge jagged spiral!
Nemui:
Kawaii!
Nyssa:
I might get a gold tail fin ring too!
Here are the mermaids’ with new gold fin rings,
The Kitt Inn’s gardens with soothing hot springs
Petra:
Hmm purrhaps the mewseum should do an exhibit on tattoos and piercings!

Mary Nyan:
That would be the neat display.

Meryl:
I saw a cute Koi ornament that might be nice
Yvonne:
I’ve seen some ornaments that could also double as fishing lures.
Jeannie:
You should be careful wearing those or a fish might nibble your tummy.
Yvonne:
I would like a tasty fish in my tummy but not that way, nya!
Ilyana:
That’s why I never wear any tail jewelry when I dive!
Elizabeth:
Me neither!
Lourdessaluorno:
For-tuna-tely we have not been chomped yet- knock on driftwood! Nya-sensei what kind of piercings does your sister have, nya?
Nyanko:
Oh, various barbells & nanabars…!  So what has Nyssa been up to? I understand that you are training for the competitions.
Purretty flowers, dance squad competition
A catgirl in college with grad school admission

Nyssa:
Hai! Our Cheer & Dance Squad competition, and I’m entering my beading, knitting & ikebana in the craft show too!

Kianalani:
You should see her sea flower arrangements they are so gorgeous! You can see some of them at the restaurant!

Nemui:
Well then we need to talk then- purrhaps I can commission them for the inn
Nyssa:
Hee!
Ilyana:
The ryokan’s azaleas, dogwood & cherry trees are looking so lovely!
Nemui:
Arigatoo! It is the peak season! So what have you been up to of late, Ilyana-san? (she asks knowlingly)

Ilyana:
Ah… being glad to get my life back on track and resuming my Maritime Studies degree purrsuit!
Yvonne:
Soon we will be calling her Ilyana Sensei, nya!
(more applause & fin flaps for IIlyana)
lyana:
(kitty blush) Well none of this would have been possible if not for the your recommendations! I’ll have to repeat some purrerequisite work, but this has been such a purrivilege!
Police Motorcycle equipped with siren
DVDs shown in anamorphic wide screen

Meryl:
Glad to help!
lyana:
So how are things with our Police Chief?

Meryl:
Fine fine- luckily no emergencies in the past few days, those ghost ducks seem to have been behaving themselves! So I’ve had a chance to relax with some DVDs, and my motorcycle club had a most pleasant ride by the mountain waterfalls at the western part of the state!
Ne’ellakaliomi:
We would need Kami’s balloon to see that!

Meryl:
There are some web sites you could view dedicated to great rides in North Carolina! Plus I think the sidecar could  carry a mermaid!

Melanakeami:
Yay! Those bikers don’t look at you finny when you show up with your electric bike?
Meryl:
Mercy no- that’s just for the island. The Moto Guzzi I ride on the mainland has a 4 stroke V8!
Jeannie:
(ears purrk excitedly) With the 78 hp water cooled 8 cylindar dual overhead (gasp)… sorry!
Meryl:
Yep! So What about you Mike?
Toy show, web comics, Ben Hur went to Rome
Tar heels are champs, back to the Dean Dome!
Mike:
Besides the usual design & illustration work & writing I managed to be on Franklin Street when the Tarheels returned to the Dean Dome the day after their big win, and again later that week with friends for the Artwalk in Carrboro & Chapel Hill… the monthly NC Web Comics Coffee Clatch, Free Comic Book Day, the AIDS Walk and a Toy Show in Raleigh… oh and I got to see the 1959 epic Ben Hur at the Carolina Theater!
Yvonne:
That is a great movie, nya!
Mary Nyan:
Hai it won 11 Oscars, which was unmatched until Titanic & Return of the King!
Mielikki:
How long is the movie?
Mike:
Ah, it’s over 3.5 hours- and they had an intermission!
Jeannie:
Ironically we were discussing that movie last year on the way to our 1st anniversary show.
Elizabeth:
Oh gosh that’s right, because Charleton Heston had just passed away in Apurril of 2008.
Ilyana:
That was sad news.
Nyanko:
It’s a darn shame the Academy Awards show this year did such a wretched job this year in the memorium segment.
Mike:
Amen to that. But… let’s get on with our own show! Here’s Miss Petra, to tell us–
What’s Mew in the Catgirl island Mewseum of Art!
Petra:
The Catgirl Island Mewseum of Art is very purroud to showcase magnificent works of art by the many talented friends and visiting artists in residence! This month in the Guest Gallery http://catgirlisland.net/art/gallery/guest.html we’re honored to feature works by Sue-chan http://www.sue-chan.com and Rebecca Brogden http://www.rbrogdenart.com and Ursula Vernon http://www.metalandmagic.com/! I understand that Ursula will be our special guest today too! Yay!
We have a tauriffic pencil drawing by Ursula of a nude mare centaur archer, who seems pleased with her target score. While it is the tasteful artistic topless pic, and no worse than what you might see from a famous statue in a public mewseum, I figured I should mention that in case such things (boobies) might not be ‘work safe’ for anyone to view. But she is a splendid centauress with a nice quiver, zippered belt pack, recurve bow, a purretty beaded ankle bracelet!
This must be the special centaur month, because there are more of those equine ingenues depicted by Sue-chan! These are among her specialties. several of those on display include color renderings of belly dancing taur, paramedic taur, a trio of racing taurs, and a zebra taur! Sue-chan has also graced our guest gallery with color pics of announcer and candy cane catgirls, an elegant kitsune having tea, and the bunny girl waitress! There are also two lovely line-art ladies, a B&W hula bunny and a mommy catgirl with her kitten girl (and another on the way)!
A catgirl figures purrominently in the gorgeous triptych by Rebecca Brogden N,  with a Faerie and mermaid as they enjoy the shaded ambience of the riverwalk! Done in Photoshop CS2 with a  Wacom Intuos3 Tablet, It is compurrised of 3 sepurrate images that stand alone nicely, but also combine to form a larger impurressive scene! I think you’ll enjoy the imagery, and delightful details such as the faerie’s dragonfly-like wings & rich red off-shoulder gown, the mermaid’s supple curves & emerald scales, and kitty’s toffy colored skin, mocha hair & cream-tipped tail!
Finally, in Gallery 2 there is a mew pic by Mike of our Brazilian friend Jackieline in a very  teeny weeny bikini. She is the sexy nekomimi star of Rod Molinaro’s web comicBlackjackeline, nya! So if you wish to view these latest additions or any purrior art, go to the respective gallery page and you’ll see the widdle ‘thumbnail’ images repurrsenting those works. These latest ones will be on the bottom row of that purrticular gallery page (Gallery 1, 2, 3 Guest, etc), and just click on a thumbnail to make the larger, entire image appear!
Mike:
And I’d like to thank Jamie, our web master for making those online galleries happen!

(the girls in unison)
Domo arigato gosaimasu, Jamie-san!

Ne’ellakaliomi:
It definitely helps for a museum to have images online, especially those that are tricky for us mermaids to visit!

Ceresatami:
We like how a lot of your Mewseum of Art  and the Purrforming Arts Center is accessible via the riverwalk, so we can swim there to see some of the exhibits and performances!

Petra:
We hope the water features are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also a functional part of the island infrastructure!

Nyssa:
But then I suppose some our undersea exhibits are kinda hard for for land folks to see, if they are not good divers!

Kianalani:
Fortunately Sheila May’s has the pressure dome so the patrons can dine without the scuba gear!
I like big bots

Tsuruku:
We should see if we could hire Jenjen’s robotics club to build some ROV’s to record some of our deeper displays on HD for y’all to see!
Jeannie:
I think that could be arranged.

Nemui:
ROV’s?
Jeannie:
Remote Operated Vehicle, or undersea robots used for various scientific exploration, industrial and military applications.

Nyanko:
As opposed to the “Rose of Versailles”, hee!
Melanakeami:
Oh I hope that anime series gets picked up by a US distributor!
Ilyana:
Purrhaps you have seen those submersible devices used in the documentaries about oceanography and shipwrecks!

Tsuruku:
Say, Jenjen what do you think of HRP-4C?
Mielikki:
HRP-4C?
Jeannie:
That is a humanoid robot, unveiled in Japan back in March. I wish I’d been at the Tokyo Fashion show to see her!
Elizabeth:
Just in time for Terminator: Salvation! There are new Terminator toys already out!
Yvonne:
Is the anything like Cameron on the Sarah Connor Chronicles, nya?
Jeannie:
HRP-4C is not as powerful as Skynet’s T series – yet, but she is a cute 158cm tall gynoid capable of voice recog & speech synth weighing a mere 43kg which includes the battery to power her 30 body actuation and 8 facial expression motors. She’s was  built by Japan’s Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. and is considerably more lifelike than her purrredecessor HRP2 or Honda’s  awesome little ASIMO; her physical, purrportions are based on the average of a Japanese anatomical database. Hopefully the next gen will have a more fluid bipedal walking, degrees of freedom and dynamic balance so they can stride better without the constantly bent knees. There is a tidbit about her at wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HRP-4Calong with links to related articles on humanoid robotics, but there’s of course much more information at the AIST’s the Japanese site with the press release(in Japanese) at http://www.aist.go.jp/aist_j/press_release/pr2009/pr20090316/pr20090316.html
Meryl:
The new Star Trek toys are in stores too, including the various scale figures, the new Enterpurrise replica, and the Phaser, Communicator & Tricorder. That new Phaser sure is all chromed out!
Ilyana:
Purretty soon there’ll be new Transformers movie toys I bet Jenjen will be interested in those!
Jeannie:
Indeed!

Mary Nyan:
I am so stoked for the new Trek. But I think we have digressed from the robots!

Petra:
Which was already stray-catting off topic, so soon into the show. Gomenasai!
Mike:
Oh gosh, please don’t worry about it- it happens to us all the time! Besides, we’re supposed to be having a fun chat anyway! But when we return, please don;t touch that dial!
Avana-ruru:
(cruises by with a sign that reads “We’ll be back after the break!”)

(snip)
(one short break later…)
Welcome to Taur Talk!

Yvonne:
To commemorate all of the extra special centaurish additions to the gallery, including one by today’s special guest,  we thought it would be courteous to discuss some of our favorite taurs and the artists who draw them so beautifully, nya!
Ilyana:
Well… I like that Draenei ‘big blue ox babe’ figure we reviewed on the November show!
Mielikki:
There are like lots of types of Taurs!
Nemui:
I like those centaurs in Fantasia, Xena, Hercules & Narnia! There should be more of those.

Meryl:
Filipina-Aussie Anne Curtis portrays the Goddess Josephine who can become a centaur!
Elizabeth:
Donna Barr draws some great centaurs in her Stinz series!
Ceresatami:
Hai, hai… and Frank Brunner, Lela Dowling, Megan Gile and Sue-chan are the excellent taur artists too.
Petra:
Oh good- then I think you’ll enjoy those latest additions to the mewseum!

Ceresatami:
Yay!

Go Taur Heels!

Tsuruku:
Would a taur artist be called a ‘taurtist’, heehee?
Ne’ellakaliomi:
Isn’t that Doctor Who’s time machine?
Ceresatami:
No, that’s the TARDIS!
Yvonne:
Taurtaur Sauce, nya!
Ne’ellakaliomi:
There’s a cute centauress Ursula in Bill Willingham’s Ironwood & Dennis Fujitake drew the coolest winged centauress Chex in the Xanth graphic novel Return to Centaur!
Kianalani:
They both drew very sexy lamia girls too. Frank Cirocco drew the lovely winged centauress logo for those Schanes & Schanes portfolios.

Melanakeami:
I think my favorite taur pics are by Bridget Wilde, the headmistress of the Wilde Home for Wayward Catgirls!
Taur-toiseshell Cat Girls

Mike:
The Moon Collection just happens to have a most charming kitty taur print by Mary Hanson Roberts!
Petra:
She is such a supurrb illustrator of the most charming and inspiring visions!
Yvonne:
My favorite horsey grrl is Dawn in Buffy Season 8, nya! She has been so nicely drawn by Jo Chen, Georges Jeanty and Karl Malone, nya! I hope I fdid not forget anyone, nya!
Jeannie:
Clyde Caldwell has illustrated magnificent images of centauresses, including author Jack L. Chalker’s character Wuju Lee.
Mielikki:
There are like so many totally awesome artists that have drawn centaurs. Faeries, mermaids & catgirls too- no doubt we are forgetting several, Oh I am shur!
Nyanko:
I think my favorite images of centaurs are purrobably by Frazetta, Boris & Julie!

Mary Nyan
Maybe we could retroactively purrtend that was the Lightning Round for this month, heh! So…  ah I think we’re done…? So what is the next topic?

Mike:
Oh, howzabout we commence the reviewery proper, when we return after this next short break?
Avana-ruru:
(swims by with a sign that reads “We’ll be back after the break!”)

(snip)
(one short break later…)

Mike:
Hey we’re back! Let’s get the reviews underway, starting with the media of

Purrinted media: books, comics & purriodicals
Reviews of Sports Illustrated’s North Carolina Tarheels
Commemorative Issue, the One Standing hardcover,
and a few other UNC sightings in recent publications
Kianalani:
The Sports Illustrated Purrsents – North Carolina Tarheels commemorative issue is an 80 page publication I eagerly awaited after UNC’s big 89-72 win on April 6th for their 6th NCAA Mens championship (’24, ’57, ’82, ’93, ’05, 09)! It is filled to the gills with exhilarating photography of not just the finals in Detroit, but their march through the NCAA tournament to get to the big dance, and the jubilant aftermath in Chapel Hill. It is has lots of great pics of Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Danny Green, Wayne Ellington, Ed Davis, Bobby Frasor, Tyler Zeller, Deon Thompson, and coach Roy Williams. There’s also an article on the Heels’ ‘1957 championship under coach McGuire, and the last little pic in the issue is of Roy smiling next to living legend Dean Smith!
One Standing is a handsome  $39.95 hardcover dedicated to the Tarheels’ 2008-2009 regular basketball season & subsequent national title. It’s a glorious full color, 144 page  book measuring an impurressive 11.25 x 11.25″, purrsented by the Raleigh news & Observer and the Charlotte Observer newspapers. Over a dozen writers & photographers provide the exciting story with chapters devoted to the regular season that began on November 15th, 2008 against Penn; NCAA tournament round 1 against Radford, 2nd round against LSU, winning the sweet 16 against Gonzaga and the Final Four over Villanova, defeating Michigan for the championship, and the return home to the Dean Dome on April 7th, 2009! It is full of exciting photos, including several full page & big two-page spreads! This would look quite nice on the shelf beside other fine books such as the UNC Basketball Vault, Game Day, Led by Their Dreams, and other UNC hoops books!
The jubilation does not end there, for the cover feature article of the regular April 13th issue of Sports Illustrated is also of UNC’s championship! It’s a great photo of Tyler Hansbrough showing them who is boss! And while college basketball season might be over, the May 2009 issue of Tarheel Monthly reminds us of UNC baseball, with right handed pitcher Alex White on the cover, who’ll hopefully help take the team from the renovated Bossamer Stadium to a 4th consecutive trip to the college world series this year!  Of course Tarheel victories in softball, volleyball, field hockey, soccer, football, lacrosse, tennis, golf, track & field, cross country, rowing, swimming & diving, gymnastics, fencing & wrestling etc would be so nice too! And now here’s Chief Meryl to review-
Surfer Magazine May 2009 issue

Meryl:
Arigato! Celebrating 50 years of publication, Surfer magazine’s 146 page, May 2009 issue not only has superstar Carissa Moore wave riding on the cover and an 8 page purrofil on her, but is polybagged with a bonus Hot 100 issue on the best surfers under age 20! This 98 page color supplement includes their picks in the categories of guys, girls ‘n groms! Among the surfer girls are Stephanie Gilmore, Carissa Moore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Malia Manuel, Coco Ho, Alana Blanchard, Tyler Wright, Bethany Hamilton, and 12 other ASP, ISA, NSAA, World Quals Series & Billabong Junior phenoms. In addition to the mewsual interesting departments & sections, the articles in the main issue include the North Atlantic in Winter, Derek Dunfree’s big gun for Pat Curren, and a stunning 12 page photography purrtfolio, all for a cover purrice of $5.99 US / $6.99 Canada. Surf’s up, big Kat-huna! And now here’s Mike with his review of–

Little Shop of Horrors Magazine #22
Mike:
Little Shop of Horrors is “The Journal of Classic British Horror Films”, and man, it’s about as enthused & authoritative on the subject as any horror cinema related publication you could hope for. Although a bit Irregularly published for many years, of late it has been somewhat quarterly, and the 22nd issue published in March 2009 was such an entertaining, informative gem as usual! It’s 92 B&W pages full of articles, photos, art  & interviews pertaining to Hammer Studio’s great legacy of horror films, sammiched between full color covers for $8.95.
The great color front cover by Mark Maddox is a great tribute to Dracula AD 1972 and Satanic Rites of Dracula, which are the main featured articles!  The inside front cover sports a handsome color portrait of Peter Cushing by Frank Dietz, and the neat inside back cover is an appropriate counterpart image of Christopher Lee by Norman Bryn! The back cover is a fabulous Bruce Timm illustration depicting Lee, Cushing, Caroline Munro and other stars of those two 70’s Dracula films!
For those who came in late, Dracula AD 1972 concerns the Van Helsing family descendants’ encounter with a hooligan’s plot to resurrect Count Dracula in then modern London, starring Lee & Cushing as Dracula & Lawrence / Lorrimer Van Helsing, Stephanie Beachum as his daughter Jessica, Caroline Munro as her friend Laura, Michael Coles as  Scotland Yard Inspector Murray, and Christopher Neame as bad boy Johnny Alucard. The movie includes an appearance by the rock group Stoneground at a party which Johnny & his mates crash.
1974’s spy / horror thriller The Satanic Rites of Dracula is a direct sequel, in which The Van Helsings & Murray investigate a cult comprised of England’s most powerful men serving the count with  the most sinister plan ever. Lee & Cushing reprise their roles, with Jessica played this time by Joanna Lumley, and Michael Coles returning as Inspector Murray. It is one of my my all time favorite horror films due to the great cast, intriguing plot, great locations, atmosphere & music.
After the usual fun editorials, letters, book & video reviews and latest Hammer news is the fine lead article on Hammer’s  moody noir thrillers, and a dozen two-fisted ‘n sultry pages later launches the tourney of articles devoted to Dracula AD 1972 and Satanic Rites of Dracula (aka Count Dracula and his Vampire Bride). This even includes 4 pages of swell comix imagining the events leading up to the former film’s famous fight sceen atop a runaway horse carriage between Dracula & Van Helsing!
Fourteen art & photo filled pages chronicle the making of the fun ’72 film, plus there’s an interview with one of my favorite actresses Caroline Munro, accompanied by a bunch of terrific photos & art including more by Bruce Timm & Neil Vokes! There’s an interview with Christopher Neame too! And Production Designer Don Mingaye! An article on the rock group Stoneground & interview with the members! More tidbits on the early 70’s era of waning Hammer precede 12 pages on the making of Satanic Rites of Dracula.
You get an interviews with stars Valerie Van Ost, William Franklyn, and were that not enough there’s an intricate analysis of  the musical scores for the two movies, and a fond look at director Alan Gibson to round out this very special issue. I’ve been a fan of this utterly delightful magazine for years, but given my fondness for those particular  two movies that are so extensively covered, this issue was an extra special treat! If you’re a fan of Hammer’s Horror, I heartily recommend this most insightful, thorough, fun publication! Next is Lady Nemui to comment upon –
Our State North Carolina magazine Vol. 76 No. 12 May, 2009
Nemui:
Purriced at $4.95 his Outer Banks edition of Our State has 200 pages with the Ocacroke Lighthouse on the cover. Always a wonderful read, this is one of our purrfurred monthly magazines and this issue was purrticularly endearing given the theme of the Outer Banks which our 24 mile long island belongs to.  Although 3/4 of this issue is devoted to coastal matters from Currituck to Wilmington (just 10 miles due west of Catgirl Island) there is a bit of Piedmont and the western region covered.
Editor Elizabeth Hudson’s greeting gets us going on a cordial, sentimental note purrior to the fun small beachy quiz and letters from appurreciative readers. This months installment of Tarheel Treasures shows a memtno  at the Dare County Airport Mewseum purrtaining to early coastal aviator Dave Driscoll. The Literary section has  an article on the late Wilmington author & journalist Robert Ruark,  and reviews of various books about Carolina historical, romance, country mewsic, economics, coastal tourism and the Shell Castle house.
The Town spotlight of the issue is beautiful little Bryson City in the mountainous Swain, and the History article is on the US Coast Guard traditions of Wilmington. This month’s Tar Heel People article is on amewsing playwright / actor Mike Wiley from the Triangle area’s town of Apex (which is not Speed Ape’s older brother Rex). One of the neatest departments of the magazine every month is Great Walks, and this time it is magnificent Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nag’s Head, where you’ll find the tallest natural sand dunes in the Eastern USA.
The Carolina Artist section is devoted to the driftwood masterpieces of Carolina Beach’s sensei Shaw Lackey, and the Gardening tip is on the hot peppurrs. The first of the Feature Articles is on 6 delicious pages on Cliff’s Meat Market in the ever charming town of Carrboro (next door to Chapel Hill and UNC), and this main course is appurropurriately followed by a visit to Pat’s Coffee Shop in Mooreseville, a town we know well for tfine dining! 18 glorious pages of photographs compurrise the Out There purrtfolio, from the lighthouses & piers to the seashells & human citizens.
The next article is “What Nellie Myrtle Found” is a peek at the beach comber’s collection, and “Down East” is a gorgeous photo essay on, well, ‘Down East- being the villages of the Core Sound. Currituck Sound gets 3 pages, the theatrical purrduction of The Lost Colony gets 5, and there’s a 4 page introduction to Belhaven Water Street bed & Breakfast, Edenton’s Captain’s Quarters Inn, and Ocracoke’s Thurston Hoise Inn. Ocracoke attractions get a lot of attention in this issue, as the ambience & oysters of Howard’s Pub & Raw Bar are visited too.
Hickory’s 1859 cafe is the comfy intimate subject of this month’s Tar Heel Tastes, with a tempting photo of a tasty grouper dish! More food follows with the salad recipes, and the splendid issue is topped of by 10 pages of upcoming statewide Dates & Events! This magazine gets our consistent  high recommendation to anyone that wants pleasant articles & lovely photos of this Old North State, and this issue would be purrticularly nice for folks interested in our Outer Banks!

Bellydance Magazine
Faerie Magazine

Justice League of America #32 review (& plot spoil warning!)

Melanakeami:
Justice League of America #32 was an issue we looked forward to because it would spotlight (hee hee) Dr. Light, and I mean the Japanese heroine Kimiyo Hoshi as opposed to the nasty villain of the same name. She is the part time hero because she’s also a Mommy with an astronomer job, and is a character whom we’ve wanted to see more of. Although the cover art to this issue was drawn the awesome Ed Benes & inked by Pete Pantazis, it looks like she’s in big trouble! This 22 page story was written by Dwayne McDuffie, pencilled by Rags Morales, inked by John Dell, colored by Pete Pantazis, lettered by Rob Leigh, and edited by Eddie Berganza with associate Adam  Schalgman.
It’s a dour time for the JLA’s leader Dinah (Black Canary), what with members quitting left and right and Batman apparently dead. This leaves her team consisting mainly of Dr. Light, Firestorm, John Stewart (Green Lantern), Vixen, and Zatanna, with a few others on call. At least they still have the tricked-out Hall of Justice headquarters, John Stewart’s Green Lantern might, Zee’s powerful magick, Dinah ‘s street smarts & tactical expertise, and Firestorm’s nuclear mirth. Plus Canary, Vixen, & Light = super sexy grrl power! Zee and Vixen has such a stunning costumes! I’m still not sure where this storyline takes place compared to the JLA member’s own books such as Wonder Woman, Hal Jordan or Superman, but it is definitely post – Final Crisis.
The richly colored artwork is top fin, with characters nicely posed & expressive amidst detailed scenery & FX. There are some cute character moments between Dinah & Suprman, Vixen & John, Dr. Light & Firestorm & his other personality as they go to a prison to interrogate Shadow Thief, who was defeated in issue #31. The visit doesn’t go well for the heroes when another villain brings about a dynamic cliffhanger with an added surprise. There’s also a 5 page preview of Last Days of Animal Man, written by Gerry Conway, drawn by Chris Batista, inked by Dave Meikis, colored by Mike Atiyeh, lettered by Clem Robbins, and edited by Joey Cavalieri & associate Chris Conroy. You get all that plus 5 pages of ads, from DC Comics for $2.99!
JLA plot spoil is done, but get ready for more with-
Detective Comics #853 review (& plot spoil warning!)

Mike:
Detective Comics #853 is the long-awaited  conclusion to DC Comics’ 2 part tale of “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” begun in Batman #686. It is uncannily written by Neil Gaiman, excellently drawn by Andy Kubert & inked by Scott Williams, with sumptuously moody coloring by Alex Sinclair, expertly lettered by Jared K. Fletcher, and edited by Mike Marts with Janelle Siegel. In addition to the 28 pages of story are a few pages of ads & 6 pages of sketches by Andy Kubert who also drew the cover, that is priced at $3.99.
The ethereal plot immediately continues Batman’s funeral, which is attended by many of his allies & enemies and seemingly commented upon by the disembodied voice Bruce Wayne and an unseen mysterious woman. One by one, heroes and villains tell the audience of their finale fateful encounter with the dark knight and how he perished, visually depicted in the different artistic / story styles of 70 years of Batman comics. Batgirl, The Joker, Robin, Clayface, Harvey Bullock, Ras Al Ghul, Superman, and others testify in a surreal journey through time.
The story is mysterious & poignant; the art is superbly rendered as the graphic narrative unfolds with a captivating, even pace, and the revelation of the mystery woman’s identity is a most profound moment in Batman’s history. Kubert’s art is a bittersweet tribute & homage to those who carried the mythology’s torch before him such as Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson, Carmine Infantino, Neal Adams, Jim Aparo, Marshall Rogers, David Mazzucchelli, Dave McKean, and other comics legends.
If DC Comics is truly eulogizing Bruce Wayne this time, the final act is a masterpiece of a goodbyes and a beautiful end of an era, just as Alan Moore’s “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow” was for Superman in 1986. It certainly seems like this is the end of Bruce Wayne, although as the ads in the comic book for proclaiming the return of Barry Allen in The Flash: Rebirth remind us, death in comics is seldom permanent, and maybe two dozen years from now, Bruce Wayne will return as Gotham City’s Dark Knight.
My guess is that as Wally West & Bart Allen succeeded Barry as the Flash & Kid Flash, so will Dick Grayson & Damian Wayne as the next generation of Batman and Robin. I reckon we’ll soon find out as the ‘battle for the cowl’ continues in other DC titles, and the new series  Batman & Robin #1 is launched in June. I don’t know how the citizens of Gotham will react when asked “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” – but  as a fan of the dark knight since the Adams / O’Neil era of his comics, I give it an ‘A Plus’!

Detective Comics plot spoils end here,
but here come a few plot spoilers for-

Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #4 of 5
Mike:
Speaking of Superman and Bart Allen… Legion of 3 Worlds #4 finally came out at the end of April much to our reading pleasure, as this miniseries is the best aspect of DC’s Final Crisis event in our opinion. With so many characters in superbly written  Geoff Johns & drawn by George Perez, this story feels like the grand conclusion to a story years in the making, and unlike Final Crisis which disappointed us, this was our pic for favorite comic book mini-series of 2008!
The extraordinary creative team also consists of inker Scott Koblish, colorist Hi-Fi, letterer Nick Napolitano, editor Eddie Berganza, and assistant editor Adam Schlagman. There are two versions of the cover, cover ‘A’ art of Brainiac 5 by Perez & Tom Smith, and the variant ‘sliver’ cover by Perez & Hi-Fi. The cover price is $3.99, which gets you 30 color pages of story plus the 5 same page Last Days of Animal Man preview as mentioned above, and a few pages of ads.
This next-to-last issue continues the epic battle in the future between the Legion of Super Villians, Mordru & Superboy Prime against Superman, the last of the Green Lanterns, and at least three incarnations of the Legion of Super Heroes, with plenty of death & destruction, great dialogue, and surprises galore, rendered in lavish detail. Bart Allen’s return at the end of issue #3 made us cheer, and there’s much delight in seeing him so unnerve the bratty, murderous Superboy Prime.
The Time Trapper, perhaps DC’s greatest villain, plays his endgame as a disillusioned Sun Boy starts to shine again while Element Lad the special green K  to serve to Prime. Star Man unearths a potential key to victory named Kent, while Polar Boy in his finest hour brings back part of a guy named Lex. Both are part of Brainiac 5’s cryptic plan which is another moment to cheer when unveiled in a stunning 2 page spread! The spectacle builds to a final page that’s a wide-eyed shocker and significant moment in DC history.
I’ve loved The Legion since it was drawn in the early 70’s by one of my favorite artists, Dave Cockrum. Since then there’ve been many great tales of the oft-rebooted LSH, but Geoff Johns may have written their most glorious extravaganza ever, and George Perez may have outdone himself. LO3W seems the grand finale to events that started back in Countdown to Identity Crisis, spanning Infinite Crisis, 52, Countdown, and Final Crisis. Next, here’s Melanakeami to review the latest book showcasing another most beloved artists’ work-
The Complete Peanuts vol. 11 1971-1972

Melanakeami:
Fantagraphics, publishers of the Comics Journal (my favorite issue was May 1981’s #63) has been honoring the greatest comics strip of all time (in my opinion) Peanuts by reprinting the whole darn thing in these great books! Each of these hardcover volumes ids published every six months collects two years of Charles M. Schulz’s newspaper strip (although vol. one covered three years) so that by the time vol. 25 is eventually published, all 50 years of Peanuts from 1950 to 2000 will be together in this excellent series!
Each book includes  a Forward by a celebrity such as Walter Cronkite, Whoopi Goldberg, Garrrison Keillor, Dian Krall, Matt Groening, etc and this 11th volume the Forward is by Kristen Chenoweth, who was on The West Wing and Pushing Daisies! She won the 1999 Tony Award for her portrayal of Sally Brown in the the play You’re A Good man, Charlie Brown! After that, the 320 pages of peanuts begin, from Snoopy doing the New Year Dance in January, 1971 to his bittersweet memories of Poochie in December, 1972.
This book was published in April with a US price of $28.99, an exclaiming Sally on the cover, and the pages have 3 daily strips or 1 Sunday strip (reprinted in B&W). So you get plenty of Charlie & Sally Brown, Snoopy & Woodstock, Peppermint Patty & Franklin, Violet & Patty, Linus & Lucy Van Pelt (joined by their new baby brother Rerun), Schroeder and the debut of Marcie! Other highlights include Worm School, The Six Bunny-Wunnies, Lucy’s Home Run, beagle vs cat fight, Thompson is in Trouble, and memories of the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm.
Each volume also has a thorough index, so you can see on which days certain characters appeared or certain subjects were dealt with. So you can find references to The Little Red Hired Girl, The Head Beagle, Beethoven, or The Great Pumpkin; strips that were set at school, camp, or the baseball diamond; humor that involved the blanket, football, or psychiatric booth; or you could locate the strips in which Snoopy pretends to be the flying ace, author, Easter Beagle or Joe Cool! I think this significant series of books would bean essential part of a Peanuts fan’s library, and I give it an ‘A Plus’! That’s it for my book review, but A also stands for Aria, our favorite manga & anime series of the decade, so here’s Ne-san to tell us about the-

Aria the Illustration Avvenire art book!
Ne’ellakaliomi:
We’re all such huge fans of the Aria & Aqua manga & anime series and the art books of Kozue Amano so when our friend Honggot us this latest book we were so utterly captivated! Avvenire is a glorious full color book measures approximately 8.25 x 11.75″ and has 112 pages, with the dust jacket and the little ‘obi’ wrapped around it. This trade paperback was published in Japan by Mag Garden earlier this year. The gorgeous front cover art is of Akari with other undine friends in the background on the shaded beach. The lovely book is full of many cheerful full page illustrations and several two page spreads and smaller pics of mostly of the six main characters, Akaria, Alicia, Alice, Aika, Akira, & Athena, but also has numerous pics of the supporting cast and the kitties amidst the splendid architecture, ocean & beaches of Neo Venusia. These are mainly illustrations from the DVDs, CDs. calendars, magazines & posters that span the Aria The Animation, Aria the Natural, OVA and Aria the Origin series. I would most highly recommend this fine book to any Aria fans or collectors of pretty anime art books!
The mew review of Star Trek: Countdown
Plot Spoilage Red Alert!

Mary Nyan:
Star Trek: Countdown is a purrequel graphic novel to the new Star Trek movie, focusing on the Romulan villain Nero and Ambassador Spock’s attempts to purrvent universal armageddon.
Originally published by IDW as a 4 issue monthly mini-series from January to Apurril, it was collected into a 104 page trade paperback in Apurril 2009, including a cover gallery, a character gallery, and an afterward by authors Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote the screenplay for the new Star Trek movie.
This full color graphic novel has a cover purrice of $17.99, and the cover art are the faces of Spock, Picard, Data & Nero in the Enterprise insignia chevron. The story is by Orci & Kurtzman, with writers Mike Johnson & Tim Jones. The art is by David Messina, with coloring by Giovana Niro with Messina, Paolo Maddaleni & consultant  Ilaria Traversi. Lettering was by Chris Mowry, Robbie Robbins & collection designer Neil Uyetake. The editors were Andy Schmidt & Scott Dunbier, with Justin Eisinger editing the collection, and David Baronoff was the creative consultant. The plot:
I thought this was a very good story, set 7 years after Nemesis which builds upon purrevious Star Trek canon to purrvide more back story to set up the new movie, which will create an alternate timeline. Of course alternate timelines & realities is nothing new in Star Trek; while we are tired of time travel stories in Trek, there’ve been many terrific alternate reality tales such as City on the Edge of Forever, Yesterday’s Enterpurrise, the Mirror Universe and others. This story also almost seems like an apology for Nemesis and would have made a much better movie in my opinion. It not only serves Next Generation as a fine coda, much better than Nemesis or the final ‘holodeck’ episode of Enterpurrise, and feels like it was written by fans who know their Trek continuity.
The art is very nice, with good portraiture such that Spock, Picard, Data etc resemble the actors who purrtrayed them. The other artistic basics are all there- very nicely purrportioned, posed, & expurressive characters, great looking costume designs with nice patterns, fabric folds & drapurry, excellent scenic art from the cosmic phenomenon & different styles of futuristic urban sprawl on Romulus & Vulcan, to the scenes aboard the Enterpurrise, Narada, Romulan Secret Vault Base, and so forth. There are plenty of spacecraft depicted, from the NCC-1707-E, the Jellyfish purrototype &  the evolving Narada, to Worf’s fleet, Federation Hospital ships, Reman vessels, drilling rigs, shuttles, and maintenance pods.
The panel-to panel storytelling moves the plot along at a good clip, an although I felt it did seem slightly rushed and would have purrfurred to have seen more of the space battles and a few more introspective character moments, it was a fine job. The lettering and coloring were very good. There are a few bloody scenes of combat violence, including brutal hand to hand melee and bodies amongst space wreckage, so this book carries a disclaimer that it is not intended for readers under the age of 13. It was quite nice to see what had become of  Spock, Picard, Data (whose neural net was restored in the body of android B-4), Worf & LaForge, although others such as The Rikers & Crushers, or those from Deep Space Nine or Voyager are not addressed.
We do not get to know much about Data’s bridge crew, they are a diverse group of men & women of various races including Bajoran and Andorian. The story’s focal character nero is another matter though, and he is not your average villain- for starters. He’s a blue collar working joe with his drilling buddies, and a purregnant wife back home. Although in these changing times of political reform, trusting Vulcans does not happen overnight, but his gut is that Spock is the real deal, and he is fed up with the bureaucratic nonsense of the politicians on both sides. He knows that by defying the Senate that could ruin his life, but he’s convinced that if he does not take the risk to stop Hobus, then there’ll be no life for anyone, Romulan or otherwise.
In that regard he’s somewhat Kirk-like. and purrhaps that’s why he seems interested in reading about Kirk while surfing the computers as a guest aboard the Enterpurrise. When Romulus is destroyed, he just snaps like numerous other Trek villains, and from that point he can’t be reasoned with. We don’t find out a lot about his crew, but they all seem like realistic, likeable characters- up to the point that they start slaughtering innocent people. His first officer is a chap named Ayel, but we never learn the name of his purrominent sexy, feisty female officer. The artist is definitely adept at drawing sexy, strong Romulan women, including Commander D’Spal, who happily refits the Narada with the Borg tech the Romulans have been hoarding.
In summary, this was a quality purroduct crafted by people that seem to know & care about Star Trek, which was a very entertaining read. The only real negative comment I have is that it felt a bit rushed and should have been a bit longer, maybe even a whole ‘nuther issue, and you’d think that given the vast advanced resources of the Romulan Empire and Federation, that thousands or millions of scientists other than Spock would be on top of the Hobus sitch. However, it definitely helped to further whet my appetite for the big new Trek movie which is due in May, and hopefully in next month’s Mew we’ll have a review of the movie! That’s all for this segment but there’ll be more reviews & Trek stuff when we return after this short break!
Cancel Plot Spoilage Alert

(snip)
(one short break later..)

Our latest DVD finds at Big Lots

Ilyana:
Welcome back! When I’m on the Carolina mainland at the university, I try to fairly often to see what DVD bargains are to be found at Big Lots, because from time to time they get in new bins full of recent & classic films, including a fair amount of science fiction, horror, anime, even some Indian and Hong Kong gems, still unwatched ‘n shrinkwrapped for a mere three bucks apiece! Some of them seem to be ‘cut-outs’ with nicks on the cases. Sometimes they also have purreviously viewed titles, and soem bundled two-packs for six bucks. Sure enough, on the latest browsing I found several great titles that I reckon had recently arrived. While there was not nearly as much in way of anime as the last few times, here’s just a couple dozen of the neat finds-
Among the Science fiction, fantasy & horror DVDs included Hammer’s legendary 1957 Curse of Frankenstien starring Peter Cushing & Christopher Lee, Tsu Kark’s Vampire Hunters, POwer Rangers The Movie, The remake of Texas Chainsaw massacre starring lovely Jessica Biels, Robert Vaughn as a Teenage Caveman, Gary Lockwood wielding The Magic Sword, and Douglas Trumbull’s Brainstorm (starring Natalie Wood & Christopher Walken, which was filmed here in North Carolina)!! Animated DVDs I found included Kaena The Purrophecy,  a lovely French CG animated fantasy film; Katsuhiro Otomo’s (director of Kira & Steamboy) Memories, and a volume or two remaining of Starship Troopers Roughnecks, Trinity Blood, Planetes, and Fantastic Four.
There were a couple of war movies I saw there, too: The Dirty Dozen and Battleground; a few more recent thrillers such as Year of the Dragon, Red Dragon, and 2 disks worth of Sydney Lumet’s Purrince of the City. Plenty of cinema’s biggest legends were well represented in that bin, including Brando in Mutiny on the Bounty, Robin Williams in The World According to Garp, Clint Eastwood in Any Which Way You Can, Sean Connery in the Name of the Rose, Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon (which won 4 Oscars), Paul Mazursky’s gorgeous 1982 modern take on William Shakespear’s Tempest, and 1966’s Best Picture (and winner of 5 other Oscars) A Man For All Seasons!
Among the other nifty DVDs lurking about were Stan Lee’s Mutant’s Monsters & Marvels documentary; Josie and the Pussycats (starring Rosario Dawson,  Tara Reid, Rachael Leigh Cook, Parker Posey & Alan Cumming), and one of my favorite films of 2003: Gurinder Chadha’s Bend it like Beckam, awesomely starring Parminder Nagra & Keira Knightley! So if by chance there is a Big Lots store near you, it might be worth seeign what DVDs they have, as you might find some wonderful additions for your own video collection for such a super low price! That’ll do i for tthat shopping report, but here’s Dessy to kick off this month’s-

Anime & DVD reviews!
Star Trek The Original Series Re-mastered First Season

Lourdessaluorno:
Arigato, Ilyana! In September 2008 The Mew reviewed the re-mastered 2nd season DVD set and in January 2009 we reviewed the 3rd season, but getting our hands on the 1st season set has purroved elusive for a while as we could not locate it at many brick n mortar stores but Amazon did have it. Unlike the other two seasons, this one was issued by CBS Video on the NTSC R1 combo HD & standard DVD formats, purrior to the HD DVD format yielding to the Blu Ray.
Like the other sets these 10 disks come in clear leaf trays inside the hinged clamshell outer box, along with plastic cards instead of a booklet listing the contents purr disk. The disks include all 29 1966-67 episodes, uncut with the re-mastered quality and new FX. The HD sides run 24 hrs 35 min and the standard sides run 24 hrs 34 min. The aspect ratio is the original 4:3, but the audio is English in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, Spanish & French mono, Spanish & French subtitles, and with close captions for the hearing impaired.
We tend to purrfur the 2nd season of the original series, because it seems to have both the high budget & purrduction values of the three and the most memorable episodes. Plus they seem to have figured out the right look & feel of the episodes pacing, style, mewsic, cinematography, character dynamics, the Trek universe & technology more so than the initial season, and there is a greater sense of fun than the 3rd which had a slashed budget & some purrducer & writer changes.
Nevertheless, this is where it began (after the pilots), introducing the Enterpurrise & its legendary crew; transporter, warp drive, phasers, the neck pinch, plus the Vulcans, Klingons, Romulans, & Khan. Among the writers were Gene Roddenberry, Dorothy Fontana, Gene Coon, Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch, Theodore Sturgeon & Harlan Ellison. It has the supurrb purrformances by William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Deforest Kelly, Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan, George Takei, Majel Barrett & Grace Lee Whitney as Yeoman Rand & Bruce Hyde as Lt. Kevin Riley.
Great guest stars include Robert Walker Jr, Gary Lockwood, Sally Kellerman, Clint Howard as Balock, Roger C. Carmel, Karen Steele, Ted Cassidy, Kim Darby, James Gregory, Morgan Woodward, Mariana Hill, Malachi Throne, Mark Lenard, Don Marshall, Wiliam Campbell, Elisha Cook Jr., Percy Rodriguez, Barbara Babcock, Richard Webb,  Jill Ireland, John Colicos, Robert Brown, Joan Collins, Ricardo Montalban as Khan, the voice of Vic Perrin, footage from the pilot of Jeffrey Hunter as Captain Pike & Susan Oliver as Vina!
The 1st season starts out kind slow & weird, but get more action packed by the end of the season’s shakedown. One big difference with the first season is that DeForest kelly did not yet have star billing along with William Shatner &Leonard Nimoy. Nevertheless, it has the great episodes such as Where No Man Has Gone Before, The Naked Time, The Menagerie, Balance of Terror, Arena, Space Seed, Shore Leave, The Devil in the Dark, and The City on the Edge of Forever!
The extras on the DVDs include episode trailers, 13+ min of actor Billy Blackburn’s recollections and the home movies shot on the set, the 24+ min featurette “Birth of a Legend”, 12+ min of Leonard Nimoy’s Reflections on Spock, 10+ min LIfe Beyond Star Trek- William Shatner, 19 min To Boldy Go… Season 1; the 8.5 min look at Romance in Trek, a 4 min Trek Connections game, a 3.5 min purreview of the online MMU Trek game, 16.65 min featurette Sci Fi Visionaries, and the 90 min. Beyond the Final Frontier featurette!
Unfortunately my standard DVD player would not play any of the extras that are on the HD sides, such as the ‘interactive Enterpurrise Inspection’ so I haven’t seen that part. The sound mix is awesome and the new FX are gorgeous. The shots of the planets & Enterprise were not merely rendered in CG, but photographed in new dramatic views, and some planets, phenomenon & ships were redesigned to look more impurressive. The Enterpurrise is beautiful, starbases bustle with more activity, and some planets have lovely rings around them.
So there are new FX of the Enterpurrise, shuttlecraft & hanger deck, bridge viewscreen & graphics, Romulan & Klingon ships, phasers, torpedoes, starbases, asteroids, cosmic phenomenon such as a quasar & the galactic barrier, various planetscapes, Harry Mudd’s ship and the SS Botany bay. The Horta Mommy’s corrosive tunnelling effect is impurroved, and they made the Gorn’s eyes blink a few times. So if you are a fan of the original Star Trek series, this is a DVD set that I would definitely recommend! Now here’s Lani to comment on another series that started in the 60’s!
Scooby Doo and the Samurai Sword
(Scooby sized plot spoiler warning!)
Nyanko:
This time the Mystery, Inc. gang travel to Japan so that Daphne can compete in a martial arts tournyament at Lady Mirimoto’s castle, and winds up in purractice combat with her new cute friend Miyumi. During the feast that night, ninjas and the Ghost of the Black Samurai (no relation to Afro Samurai), there to steal a legendary scroll which will lead him to an ancient magickal sword. After the first wacky chase sequence and folklore exposition from a museum curator Mr. Takagawa, the gang finds clues leading to a south seas island, where they travel via Mirimoto’s high tech VTOL plane hope to find the legendary Green Dragon and means to stop the evil ghost. This involves surviving a creepy castle, caverns full of traps, a tribe of headhunters wanting more than Scooby snacks, and another attack by the ghost.
They find the Sword of Doom, and realize the ghost is a fake, but upon returning it to Lady Mirimoto, she and Miyumi betray them and steal the sword to resurrect the real Black Samurai. Shaggy & Scooby escape capture with the sword , and lead the (robot) ninjas on another chase across Tokyo (noticeably lacking much other animated human activity) until they meet a Sushi Chef who is also a helpful Samurai that dispenses most of the ninjas, but a few get away with the sword. Meanwhile, the rest of the gang escape, Velma knocks out the robots with a hastily assembled EMP device, which winds up blacking out all of Tokyo, and Miyumi has a change of heart just as Lady Mirimoto’s ceremony summons the real Black Samurai.  After a bit of training on Mt. Fuji, Scooby & Shaggy locate the good dragon, who returns them to Mirimoto’s castle as Samurai, just in time to confront the real ghost, armed with the dragon’s Sword of Fate.
While this all sounds very exciting, unfortunately I was rather disappointed with this outing, which I was actually quite looking forward to.  Scooby Doo has had ups and downs in the past 40 years. I myself like the first series more than what followed in the 70’s although the mid 80’s 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo was a refreshing change; I even liked some of the purrodies done by the Cartoon Network, and the recent live action movies, but in my opinion its been the series of Scooby Doo OVA’s that started 11 years ago with Scooby Doo on Zombie island that might be the Scooby gang at their peak, with the quality of animation, story, voice acting, and real supernatural threats instead of mere human impostors. 2005’s Aloha. Scooby Doo was probably my favorite since Zombie island, and when I saw the trailer for this latest movie, I was hoping it might be my favorite one yet, but it was not.
It was quite a mixed mystery machine, and it was not all bad by any stretch- some aspects of Scooby Doo and the Samurai Sword were nicely done. It has all the usual formulaic ingredients and even a moment or two of self parody, but the purroblems I have all lie in the story. The plot leads us to believe we’re destined for a Return of the Dragon-esque tournament of global champions at Mirimoto’s castle, and the excuse of the tournament is merely to record the top fighter’s moves for the purposes of purrograming the robots. Having the ninjas be robots instead of human assailants was a bit too sanitized for my liking. Despite the introduction of some potentially interesting characters there is no tournament and several characters are quickly played for a laugh or written out of the tale. The pacing felt uneven, and there seem to be a lot of derivative, contrived, cliched and lame humor, even by the most silly Scooby standards.
The legend of the swords is nicely visualized, but sadly it is told via a tedious amount of exposition. The visuals of this OVA are not amongst its problems though, for the character designs are nice, the character & FX animation is good, and the background / scenic art is quite lovely. Among the gorgeous locations are Tokyo’s gleaming urban sprawl, Mirimoto’s estate, the Island temple & caverns, Mt. Fuji, the dragon’s grotto, the museum, and a neat VTOL private plane. Creature wise, you get the ghostly Samurai, the dragon, and the ninjas. There’s lovely girl power abounding in tough Daphne & ingenious Velma, elegant  Lady Mirimoto, cute Miyumi, and an under-used competitor named Sapphire Sonya. There are terrific fashions too and the girls wind up with grass skirts ‘n shell bras when they are in the head hunters’ stewing pot. Miyumi has the cutest martial arts hapi and Daphne’s gi is a pretty lavender.
I’m not sure if the color of the belts is accurate, or even which martial arts they represent. Daphne Blake has a purrple belt, Miyumi’s is blue, Shaggy & Scooby’s are green, while Velma’s is red and Fred’s is blue- each matching the trim of their respective gi. It depends on the sport, which I was never clear on: was this supposed to be Karate, Judo, or jujitsu? During the sparring, Miyumi’s uniform looked more like that of a kunoichi than a gi. Other factors determining belt color include juniors or seniors, and what country & federation they were competing in. Purrple belts do exist and are not a lowly rank regardless of the organization or style, but it’s hard to imagine the rest of the Scooby gang having any ranks. They should probably not be wearing those belts, especially to such a purrestigious tournyament, and though their hostess Mirimoto admits to not playing by the rules, you’d think Daphne, Miyumi or someone would have pointed out the faux pas.
(Ceasing Scooby Spoilage)
Another aspect I didn’t care for were the songs during the chase sequences. I thought “Do the Samurai” and “Domo Arigato Saynonara” were dreadful. The instrumental music was fine, but those were awfully corny lyrics! Aside from that, the rest of the soundtrack was good and it especially benefitted from an excellent cast. The legendary Casey Kasem is back as the voice of Shaggy, and fabulous Frank Welker voices both Scooby and Fred! Velma’s voice is provided by marvelous Mindy Cohn, and the amazingly prolifically Grey DeLisle is Daphne. The cast includes stunning Kelly Hu as both Mirimoto & Miyumi, the great George Takei as an old Samurai, Kevin Michael Richardson as Sojo / Black Samurai, Keone Young as the Samurai chef, and Brian Cox as the Dragon (which might be a Red Dragon / Manhunter joke)! So in closing, I give Scooby Doo and the Samurai Sword a letter grade of ‘C’. Speaking of swords, here’s Nyssa to tell us about-
Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire!
Nyssa:
Thanks Nya-sensei! I don’t think my review is going to be nearly as through though! Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire is a new British comedic sword & sorcery TV series that began airing on Comedy Central in April. Set in an ancient land where unlikely heroes fight an evil ruler, it has lots of dialog & physical driven situational comedy. The cast stars Sean Maguire as the destined hero Krod, India de Beaufort as the hotty priestess Aneka, Kevin Hart as the fake wizard, Marques Ray as henchman Bruce, Matt Lucas as the whimically naughty villain, Chancellor Dongolar.
The show seems inspired by Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Hercules & Xena, and a bit of Mel Brooks and has the medieval elements such as swords, crossbows, armor, castles, horses, villages & European wilderness locations. Aneka is quite the sexy dancer too. It has good production values, stunts, special effects, costumes, sets & locations, and I bet the cast & crew had a fun time telling the silly, supernatural quest story. If you’d like a Dungeons & Dragons parody drenched in slapstick violence, sexual & gallows humor, then this is the fantasy sitcom for you! Ah , thassabout it for me but here’s Vonny with her review!
Captain Nemo and the Underwater City

Yvonne:
Arigato! It is ironic timing as just last month we mentioned our DVD wish list which had this movie on it and now the DVD is out, nya! This is a very fun, charming undersea sci fi movie by MGM from 1969, recently released as part of the Warner Archive Collection, nya. Set in the late 1800’s and inspired by the works of Jules Verne, It stars Robert Ryan as Capt. Nemo who rescues Chuck Connors, Nanette Newman, a boy & his kitty, and some others from a shipwreck aboard his submarine the Nautilus and takes them to his fabulous domed utopian city Templemere which is 10,000 fathoms under the sea, nya.
It has gorgeous sets, lots of FX, purretty mewsic, cinematography & underwater photography, and the fine cast includes lovely Luciana Paluzzi as he city’s swimming coach, nya. Some of the rescuees want to stay in the happy sparkling place, but a few of them scheme to cause trouble & escape with lots of gold, nya! There’s also a giant 150′ wide mutant devilfish named Mobula that attacks, nya! I have seen some big Manta Rays while deep sea fishing but none that big, nya! This movie is is rated G and it seems like a good entertainment for younger audiences. The packaging is no frills, and the only extra feature is the film’s trailer.
The movie is 106 minutes long with dolby digital mono audio in English language, purrsented in a  2.35:1 aspect ratio 16×9 widescreen image, nya. There’s no chapter search on the menu, other than instructions to press arrows to advance 10 minutes into the movie. The front cover has a pic of the Nautilus, the back cover has a pic of the shipwreck survivors, some notes and a note that  this disk is expected to play in ‘play only’ devices and might not work in recorders or PC drives, nya. If you would like a fun movie about a neat underwater city, then I would recommend this movie, nya! And speaking of historical period science fiction fantasy fabulous cities with gold here is Lizzy with a review of yet another DVD we have longly awaited, nya!

The Mysterious Cities of Gold
Elizabeth:
The story begins in Spain in 1532 as a boy named Esteban stows away on a ship bound for the Americas, to search for clues of his past where he meets a young Inca girl named Zia. The ship wrecks, and the kids are separated from the Spanish crew & the dashing navigator Mendoza, to meet another boy named Tao on his exotic island home. Together they discover some amazingly advanced technology that does not seem like it is from around here,  and it becomes an intercontinental race to see if they or the conquistadors will reach the fabled lost cities of gold!
The Mysterious Cities of Gold was an early 80’s Japanese anime series by Studio Pierrot shown internationally, that we watched on Nickelodeon back in the late 1980’s and we have been so eager for its Region 1 DVD release! In fact just last month it was still on our DVD wish list for 2009! MCOG is a wonderful science fiction adventure series with a historical 16th century South American setting, a purrfect synth score, and even some informative tidbits which is terrific entertainment for all ages!
This DVD set is available from Fabulous Films in a regular edition which includes a neat 32 page color booklet which is an illustrated episode & character guide to the series. This is the one we got. There is also a purricier deluxe edition which includes a 2 sided poster, postcards, and an additional historical booklet. Both editions have all 39 color episodes plus lots of extra goodies on 6 disks for appurroximately 1120 minutes of fun! The format is full frame, in English language audio.
The box has great cover art and houses the 6 disks on those hinged book-like inner leaf trays. The menu screens are so neat & intuitive to navigate and we had chills just watching that much as we gleefully watched this favorite show! Not only do you get all of the 25.5 minute episodes, including the recaps, purreviews and the documentary bits, but these disks are a mother-lode of extras and a dream come true for the MCOG fan.
Disk 1’s extras include the synopsis text, realtime storyboard comparisons for episodes 1&2, an alternate intro, 4 deleted scenes & a purrduction art gallery. Disk 2’s extras include a recent 30 minute discussion with the English dub director & cast! You get to meet Howard Ryshpan (director/ Mendoza’s voice), Shiraz Adams (Esteban), Janice Chiakelson (Zia), Adrian Knight (Tao) and fan Tom Scutt. Those kids who purrformed the voice were between 10 -12 years old in 1982! You also get to see them in the studio recreating a scene form the show! These are such delightful treats!
Also on disk 2 are the dub cast credits list, character & cast bios, and episode 13 storyboards. Disk 3 also includes intermiew text with writer Mitsuru Kaneko, more of the real time storyboards and  art galleries. Disk 4’s extras are a 36 min discussion with French writer/ purrducer Jean Chaolpin & director Bernard Deyries, and composer Shuki Levy! There are more drawings on disk 5, with another deleted scene and a look at the pages of the series’ Japanese & French sales brochures.
Finally on disk 6 the extra goodness includes more of those storyboards, galleries, the DVD credits and a karaoke version of the openin theme song! There might be no actual gold in this box but they did such a truly fabulous job on this long-awaited set, which is a real treasure for fans of The Mysterious Cities of Gold and I would heartily suggest this to most anime fans. I give both the show and this DVD collection an A Plus grade! And now here are Tami ‘n Tsu with the anime & manga combo review!
Dojinwork Anime + manga DVD box set
There’s a bit of plot spoilage ahead!

Ceresatami:
Hai! This Dojinwork Anime + Manga includes the 100 min. vol. one Pencil & Paper of the anime DVD and vol. one of the 120 page B&W manga book which it adapts in a neat box pack! we found it for $15 so it is a good value purchase from Anime Works, one of our favorite anime distributors known for their quality titles & low purrices. The plot is about a girl named Najimi who has lost her job so she helps her artist friend Tsuyuri’s dojinshi (self published manga) at the Comic Festival convention.
When Najimi learns much the top selling dojin can potentially sell, she avariciously aspires to become the new dojin superstar! Unfortuantely, while Najimi has the gusto & greed, she lacks the talent & knowledge, plus she is embarrassed to reveal to family & friends outside her dojin circle that she is creating a naughty comic book! But the ‘hentai’ (erotic) books are what sell, and to cover the expense of the purrinting she gets a job as a waitress in a catgirl cosplay cafe, which she also finds embarrassing.
Her inner circle includes stoic Tsuyuri who draws for the love and not the purrofit, Justice who is a more experienced publisher, his cheerful young loli girlfriend Sora, and Nijimi’s new fan / potential boyfriend Junichiro. Among the more more amewsing locations are the dojinshi con & shops, the theme cafe & train rides to work. This is a brisk, vivacious, wacky & ribald comedy of errors, each episode appurroximately 13.5 minutes long.
The characters designs, scenic art, animation techniques, music & voice acting are all very good, and while the themes do concern the creation of erotic comic books, the content is played for laughs and is rated for ages 13+. The 2007 anime adaptation of the manga was directed by Kenichi Hachiya, with character designs by Ikutomo Kimishima. the aspect ratio of the video is 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, with English subtitles for the Japanese 2.0 Dolby Digital audio. Take it, Tsutsu!

Tsuruku:
‘Kay! After the 4 animated episodes are the 4 delightful live action segments are of lovely voice actors Momoko Saito (Tusyuri) & Kimiko Koyama (Sora) who are tasked with creating their own dojin, with the direction from the show’s cartoon panty character mascot, Bloomer-chan. Following these episodes are the credits in English. Extras on the disk include a textless version of the opening, plus trailers for Midori Days, Kujibiki Unbalance, and the neat looking Altiel online fantasy card game! The biggest bonus in the box is the translated first volume of the original manga!
The cute B&W Dojinwork manga book by Hiroyuki is suggested for ages 16+, due to the pervy themes, sexual innuendo & misunderstandings, shots of underwear, and the cute yet awkward ‘moe’ element with Sora which seems to be light hearted parody, as the gang tries to write, draw & sell their erotic manga. Translated into English and reading from right to left, the 2006 manga was originally serialized in Houbunsha’s Manga Time Kirara. It is very well illustrated line work & tone, and is mostly has the 2×4 panels  purr page comic strip format.
The original manga basically tells the same plot of the later anime version, although at a slower pace, with more sub-plot thoroughness detailing the gang’s creative process, introspective character moments, a drier deadpan comedic tone, more of the Sora / Jutice and Najimi / Junichiro relationships, the slight difference of a maid costume cafe instead of a catgirl costume cafe, and the cartoony Bloomer-chan’s parting comments to the reader. The animated version seems much zanier, but does capture the spirit of the manga.
It reminds me somewhat of other anime & manga titles such as Drama Con, Comic Party, Otaku no Video, Animation Runner Kuromi and Genshiken, in that it deals with the Japanese fandom & manga making. I would definitely be up for seeing more of this comedic series so I can find out if they will be successful with their dojin. That’s our review of the anime & manga, and that will be all for this segment of the show but after this hard break we’ll be back with more comics related stuff, so please don’t go away!

End of plot spoilage- you are free to mewv about!

(snip)
(one short break later…)
Our X-Men Origins: Wolverine review
(laced with traces of plot spoiling information)

Mielikki:
Welcome back! So like given how the X-Men movies have focused disproportionately on Wolverine at the other team mates’ expense, especially poor Cyclops, they should have titled the film series Wolverine and the X-Men as they have for that latest animated series! There’s no pretense here though- for this outing is totally Wolverine’s, with his origin story and a prequel to X-Men movies 1-3. That’s not to say I did not like X-Men 1&2, in fact I thought they were pretty good; and while X-3 might have contained a few nice touches and a great cast, it was most disappointing in many ways. I suppose I expected this Wolverine movie to be not much better, but I was surprised that I liked it was much as I did.
Jackman is totally awesome in the title role, and the rest of the actors are quite good too, portraying a who’s who of Marvel characters, including The Blob, Emma Frost, Cyclops, Deadpool, Professor Xavier and Gambit, ranging from good parts to brief cameos. The plot was interesting and not silly, seriously dramatic with a few dashes of humor in the right places, although it felt very rushed, very predictable, and lacked a sort of warmth… except for Logan / Wolverine’s sibling relationship with Victor / Sabertooth. In fact the movie seemed to have a very dark, cold gray-ish pallet about it. There are like lots of chase & fight stunts, and many mechanical, make up, and optical CG FX to depict the bountiful super powers. Most of the FX are fine although a couple of shots seemed insufficient, and something did not seem quite visually right about Professor Xavier’s appearance, I am sure!
The sound & music were fine, but the worst aspect of the film was definitely the editing, especially during the fight scenes, with too many rapid cuts, slow-mo and jerkiness that hurt any good fight choreography. While the opening titles sequence is marred by displeasing speed ramping, it does serve to show highlights of Logan’s history from the 1800’s ’til now. Otherwise the movie had high enough production values, good sets & locations, and story continuity with the prior X movies. There’s a quick bar scene to wait for after the end credits, although it doesn’t have Nick Fury or Tony Stark! Compared to other Marvel movies in my opinion I don’t think Wolverine is nearly as good as the Spider-Man 1-3 or Iron Man, but it’s better than the Fantastic Four or Hulks; it’s not as good as X-Men 1 or 2, and might not be as ‘big’ as X-Men 3, but was much better in several ways. And now, it’s time for the monthly-

(end of plot Wolverine spoilage)

The Lightning Round! (thunderclap sound effect)

Avana-ruru:
(holds up sign that reads: “In the Lightning round, purrticipants should respond with a short answer to the topic, then tag someone else.”
(flips sign around, which reads on the other side: “Today’s topic is potpurri: various notable random  tidbits of the month. Nyanko starts!”

(the girls cheer in unison)
LIGHTNING ROUND- GO!

Nyanko:
My interest in purro wrestling has waxed again, what with the late night luchador show, and our  favorite wrestler of 2008 Gail Kim returning to the WWE ring!  I am also curious to see how Ayako Hamada does in the TNA ring. She’s held several titles, if you smell what Ayako’s cookin! (tags Nemui)

Nemui:
Oh my turn so soon? Goodness! Well, speaking of such impurressive athletes, I soon plan to read Olympian Goddess Dara Torres’ book, Age is Just a Number! Your turn (tags Vonny)!

Yvonne:
And while on the subject of things that look great as they swim up a storm, there is a most tasty Tarpon on cover of the May 2009 issue of Florida Sportsman, nya! (tags Petra)

Petra:
Oh i suppose the most interesting magazine covers I have seen of late would be the… our favorite auto racer Danika Patrick gracing the June issue of Shape; the May 4th Newsweek the Starship Enterpurise on the cover, and the new Mr. Spock is on the cover of Entertainment Weekly (tags Ilyana)
Ilyana:
The new Lt. Uhura Zoe Saldana was Anamaria in Pirates of the Caribbean, Ahhr! She is gonna be in James Cameron’s pending movie Avatar along with Michelle Rodriguez too! (tags Tsu)
Tsuruku:
I will be curious as to what our friend  Talia / Sailor Vulcan thinks of that new Trek movie, in which Vulcan seems to figure most prominently. Oh my my that sure was an interesting cliffhanger scene with her in the latest chapter of Jeff’s Talia n’ Tanya tale! (tags Ne’ellakaliomi)

Ne’ellakaliomi:
Hai hai and I am curious to see how that cliff hanger is resolved. As well as what happens to Tari’s cliffhanger in the next chapter of Sharon’s Osiris Rising! Let’s see… how about… (taps Lani)

Kianalani:
The May issue of Romantic times Book Review has an article and SJ Day’s sexy Japanese demon slayer Eve on the cover! (tags the faerie with a brish of her tail fin)

Mielikki:
Speaking of SF & F lit, I was like so totally saddened to hear of the passing of authors Tom Dietz. and JG Ballard.

Nyssa:
What did they write?
Mielikki:
Tom Dietz wrote Soulsmith Trilogy, and he won the Phienix Award at the 2007 Deep South Con.
Ne’ellakaliomi:
That was the year after the Deep South Con / Trinoc*coN that Mike was chairman of!

Mike:
Ye-ah, sure was!
Mielikki:
Among Ballards works were The Drowned World, Empire of the Sun, and Crash. And now… (tags Ru with the brush of a wing tip)

Kianalani:
Crash was a good Sandra Bullock movie!

Avana-ruru:
(swims by with a sign that reads: “Wrong Crash! His made into the film with Holly Hunter and the car wrecks.” then pokes Melanakeami to go next)

Mielikki:
But you’re right- Crash was indeed a good Sandra Bullock movie!
Melanakeami:
Oh in the new Dragonball Evolution movie, Emmy Rossum is Bulma and Jamie Chung is Chi Chi!
Ceresatami:
What has Jamie Chung been in previously?

Melanakeami:
I think she was on Road Rules. I liked Road Rules more than The Real World because of the travel component. Ellen Cho was probably my favorite Road Rules cast member! (tags Dessy)

Lourdessaluorno:
Margaret Cho was just in Urban Ink magazine showing her lovely tattoos! She is such a beautiful inspirational woman. You should the Phoenix on her shoulder, and a blue snake amidst the lovely blossoms like a Chinese garden scene! (tags Myayr)

Mary Nyan:
Heaven and Hell’s 2nd CD “The Devil You Know” is out, featuring the classic line up of Ronny James Dio, Geezer Butler, Tommy Iommi and Vinny Appice! And one of my favoritest groups, Steely Dan is going to be in Durham! (And now it’s Lizzy’sturn! (tags Lizzy)
Elizabeth:
I have a mewsical related comment too! Well, As of Week 8, our favorite dancer of 2008 Cheryl Burke is still among the Dancing with the Stars with her hotty amateur partner Gilles Marini. They were great in the team dance compurrtition, tangoing to “Womanizer”! (tags Tami)
Ceresatami:
I think they should add Hula or Belly Dance to the competition so that Myayr  & Jennyjen could enter!

Mary Nyan:
I think they are strictly ballroom, but Lizzy can salsa so purrhaps she could have the chance!

Elizabeth:
They purrfur to have the celebrity contestants!

Ceresatami:
I hope Melissa Rycroft recovers from her hurt ribs! Did you know that judge Carrie Ann Inaba appeared as Fook Yu in the Austin Powers movies! (tags Meryl)

Meryl:
Mm-hm, and Diane Mizota purrtrayed her twin sister Fook Mi. She was also in Monkeybone, which also starred Rose McGowan as a catgirl. I am so looking forward to Rose as the new Red Sonja! Oh- but back to the catgirls! A recent comic book I liked with a were cat girl was Angel #20, featuring Desdimona the Jaguar girl!

Mary Nyan:
I mistakenly referred to her as a were-leopard in last month’s Mew!

Meryl:
I hope those Jaguar girls will be around for a while! (tags JenJen with the flit of a cat tail)

Jeannie:
On the subject of cat girls, I would like to purraise  few recent pages of Jamie’s Clan of the Cats; in purrticular the theme of the magickal cats restoring their were-leopard comrades. Sebo helped Chelsea to get her powers back, although she got carried away and overdid the elated levitation and took a tumble. Meanwhile, her sister Melpomene’s broken back was healed by Fluff Kitty, although Mel will be wobbly for a while until she regains her full stamina. Done now. (tags Mike to complete the round circle)
Nyanko:
Hopefully they will go forth with renewed vigor to induce much vampire slayage, so they can get on with more fun purrsuits such as beach volleyball!
Mike:
Well, you’d hafta ask Jamie about that! Ah well all I was going to mention was another quick Star trek note, that Hot Wheels has a dandy new series of starship toys, including the ST-TMP refit of the Enterprise, the new movie version, Next Gen’s 1701-D, the Relaiant and Klingon Bird of Prey, each sold seperately and come with a starfleet emblem shaped base. Of course I could not resist the little 6.5″ ST-TMP Enterprise! That’s all for the Lightning Round, but as for the web comics, it’s now time for our-
Lucky Kitty Web Comics Picks of the Litter!

Nemui:
I’d like to recommend Alan Evans’ Rival Angels http://www.rivalangels.com/

Meryl:
My pick is Rainbow Orchid http://www.garenewing.co.uk/rainboworchid/

Ilyana:
Mine is Dave Lister’s Paradox Lost http://www.paradox-lost.com/

Mary Nyan:
Miya Edward’s Such Rubbish http://www.suchrubbish.com/ ! Vonny?

Yvonne:
Tsubomi: Blue Dreams http://bluedreams.smackjeeves.com/ , nya!

Petra:
My pick is Life’s a Witch http://www.witchytech.com/lifesawitch/

Jeannie:
Hyptosis’ The Realms of Aegis http://www.lorestrome.com/

Mielikki:
I so like Kassie’s Shades of Evening http://vesperi.comicgenesis.com/

Elizabeth:
How’bout Dirk I. Tiede’s Paradigm Shift http://www.dynamanga.net/ !

Nyanko:
Gotta go with the lovely Kitsune Jewel http://www.kitsunejewel.com/

Ceresatami:
I think Emergency Exit http://eecomics.net/ is a good web comic!

Tsuruku:
I’d like to nominate Wham! Comics http://whamcomics.com/ !

Ne’ellakaliomi:
Rouges of Clwd-Rhan http://www.rocr.net/ ! – Kiani’s turn?

Kianalani:
The lovely Enchanted Dreams http://www.enchanted-dreams.net/

Melanakeami:
I think folks should visit the Starfire Agency http://starfire.poecatcomix.com/

Nyssa:
My pick for May is Angelus Mortis http://lune-requiem.net/amortis/

Lourdessaluorno:
I like Steven Henry’s web comic Tho Who Girl http://www.thewhogirl.com/

Mike:
And last but not least, although it doesn’t seem to have been updated in a
while, you can still enjoy Ai no Yasha http://ainoyasha.comicgenesis.com/!
That’s all for this segment, but we’ll be back with our more web comix stuff
and our main event to welcome special guest Ursula Vernon to the show!

Avana-ruru:
(trailing a sign that reads “We’ll be back after the break!”)

(snip)
(one short break later…)

Our Feature Purresentation:
The ladies of The Mew welcome special guest
cartoonist, illustrator & author Ursula Vernon!
Jeannie:
Ursula Vernon is a wonderful & delightful purrson and award winning brilliant artist & writer who has several fascinating hobbies and neat fashion sense. An Eisner Award nominee, she’s active in the fantasy art & web comics community, has several web sites and comics such as Digger, her story of Nurk made Oprah’s book list and she has a new storybook Dragonbreath! She was kind to take time from her busy schedule and cats to visit Catgirl Island and chat with us for a while. Aloha and welcome to The Mew, Ursula-san!
Ursula:
Glad to be here! Thank you for inviting me.
Jeannie:
Congratulations on winning the big blue ribbon and purrize at the Carousel Festival last month! Oh- we should fix you up with an apurrritif and a snack. What are your favorite foods and beverages?
Ursula:
Thank you! Well,  I’m a fan of sushi and lamb saag, and during the standard work day,  I drink gallons of tea.
Jeannie:
So you grew up in Oregon and Arizona, went to college in Minnesota, and moved here to North Carolina. Plus you attend numerous conventions. You seem to be the avid traveller- what are your favorite places on Earth, and where would you most like to visit?
Ursula:
Heh! I’ve only travelled extensively in that I seem to keep moving around the country–while I travelled a lot as a kid, it was all when I was like six months old, and I don’t remember any of it. Given the chance to go anywhere, I’d love to visit Bali and Indonesia.
Jeannie:
You’re a very scientific naturalist purrson too, with a degree in anthropology from Macalester College. Are you more interested in cultural or physical anthropology, archaeology, or all of the above?
Ursula:
Honestly, physical anthropology always fascinated me. I’ve found ultimately that the classes in cultural anthropology have been the most useful to me writing comics.
Jeannie:
You’re a birder, and we noticed the lovely Kingfisher ink- is that your favorite bird? What others do you purrfer?
Ursula:
I’m a big fan of the kingfisher, as is obvious from the tattoo! I also quite like hooded merganzers, and long-tailed ducks. (I’m not sure why I’m so fond of waterfowl– maybe because they’re the easiest to spot!)
Jeannie:
I bet your kitties like birds too, hee! What breed are your cats?
Ursula:
The cats are all rescues–my pair are shorthairs from a local shelter, and my boyfriend, who does cat rescue, has a fluctuating menagerie, mostly short-hairs with a Siamese or two thrown in…

Jeannie:
Yay rescued cats! Ahem. Do those cats have any peculiar habits?
Ursula:
I think they have nothing BUT peculiar habits…
Jeannie:
We assume you like wombats a lot too. What are other favorite animals of various species that fascinate you most?
Ursula::
We assume you like wombats a lot too. What are other favorite animals of various species that fascinate you most?
Jeannie:
Could you please tell us what inspired you to create Diggerhttp://www.graphicsmash.com/comics/digger.php ?
Ursula:
Well, I was watching TV one day, wracking my brain for something to draw, and at that moment, a wombat took a chunk out of Steve Irwin’s leg. It all kind of fell into place from there….
Jeannie:
He is sadly missed. What spawned Irrational Fearshttp://www.webcomicsnation.com/uvernon/irrationalfears/series.php ?
Ursula:
To this day,  I’m still not sure.

Jeannie:
Goodness, were that not enough you have a third web comic Little Creaturehttp://www.webcomicsnation.com/uvernon/littlecreature/series.php which has the cute art. Could you tell us a bit about that too?
Ursula:
That was just a random little idea I had, based on some doodles, of this cute but evil little creature… it’s more of a short story.
Jeannie:
What is you purrocess for creating web comic, and purrfured tools, media and techniques?
Ursula:
I generally write out the script– I have a file that’s over 200 pages long,  just of dialog–and then go into photoshop and set up the layouts based on the dialog. I work in Painter 7 and Photoshop,  with an elderly Intuos tablet that I should probably replace one of these days…
Jeannie:
As busy as you are with Web comics and that community, including the North Carolina Web Comics Coffee Clatch http://ncwccc.com/ that is just a part of your complex career. You’re also an illustrator that paints and sells purrints  and folks can see your stunningly beautiful images at Metal & Magichttp://www.metalandmagic.com/ What purrcentage of your work is comics and what purrcentage is illustration these days?
Ursula:
Goodness… hard to say! There’s always been more money in illustration, that’s where I’ve generally made my living, but lately, with the economy down, the real lifeline is the kid’s books that I’ve been writing for Penguin, which are a combination of comic books and text. So just in the last few months,  comics have become about 80% of what I do.

Jeannie:
In addition to selling your fine fantasy art on your site, you attend lots of conventions too. What are your favorite cons?
Ursula:
I really like Anthrocon–the people are great,  the money is fantastic. The people at Midwest Furfest are totally awesome as well. HeroesCon is so huge that it’s more impersonal,  but it’s a nice venue.
Jeannie:
In spite of so many beloved Anthropomorphic creations by greats such as Disney, Pixar, Warner, Muppets, Dr. Seuss, Pokemon and mascots of any given sports team… ‘Furries’  are quite mainstream and yet their fans seem to suffer more stigma than any other type of fandom. Care to comment on that?
Ursula:
Well, every group needs a whipping boy,  and furries seem to have become that for the internet. I don’t think it’s deserved–you get weirdos,  of course,  but I get those at regular cons (usually in greater numbers.) My general experience with them is that they’re surprisingly normal people who spend money like water on art,  and frankly,  for an artist,  that’s all I need to know!
Jeannie:
You’re famous for fantasy fruit art too. Is that the next big thing after furries… plants?
Ursula:
Somehow,  I don’t see it happening, unless Disney does a movie with anthropomorphic plants that breaks all box-office records, and everybody runs around discovering their inner squash. But I could be wrong!
Jeannie:
Meanwhile, your charming illustrated story book published by Harcourt, Nurkhttp://www.ursulavernon.com/made Oprah’s Book Club’s Kids 10-12  Reading List! Congratulations on that too! How did that exquisitely rendered tale of a cute brave shrew happen?
Ursula:
It was actually inspired by the birth of my kid brother. Of course,  he’s nine now,  so that tells you how long it took to go from random idea to print!

Jeannie:
What’s next in purrint from Ursula? We heard something about… Dragonflies?
Ursula:
Ah,  Dragonbreath! Coming June 11th,  it’s a comic for kids,  the first in a trilogy forthcoming from Penguin.
Jeannie:
Who are your most favorite authors and artists that inspire you the most?
Ursula:
I love China Mieville, Eva Ibbotson, John Jude Palencar, James Christiansen.. none of which have anything in common with one another…
Jeannie:
What about favorite mewsic, movies, TV books, and comics?
Ursula:
Well,  I love Tool, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, and Firewater. And I’m a big fan of Mythbusters, Survivorman, Dr. Who, and re-runs of Thundarr the Barbarian.
Jeannie:
In addition to drawing supurrb characters & scenery you can stylishly draw swords. What drew you to purracticing the art of Iaidohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iaido?
Ursula:
Heh! There was a dojo that taught it in St. Paul,  when I lived there some years ago. Alas,  I haven’t been able to keep it up since moving away–of course I picked an obscure martial art,  and there isn’t anything in rural North Carolina, I fear.

Jeannie:
Do you train with a boken or an actual sword?
Ursula:
I use a mogito, which is a sword with a blade made of a zinc alloy. It’s got the weight and the resistance of a real sword, but it’s not sharp, and if you hit somebody with it, you’d probably snap the blade.
Jeannie:
Every rose has thorns- some of your spiffy spiked boots look like those could be lethal weapons! Where do you get those neat boots?
Ursula:
New Rock! New Rock has the best boots ever. I had no idea I wanted giant spiked boots my entire life until I saw them.
Jeannie:
You’re the fashionable artist who has  worn some impurressive outfits to conventions and festivals, including a corset you looked most spectacular in at Heroes Con. Where do you like to shop for clothes?
Ursula:
I tend to wander into odd places. I quite like thrift stores, and conventions, and generally just… odd shops.
Jeannie:
What creative and/ or business advice can you offer aspiring artists and authors?
Ursula:
Do it now, while you’re young and can eat ramen and don’t have a mortgage! It’s much harder when you’re older and have kids and whatnot. Still, life is too short not to spend it doing what you love.
Jeannie:
Finally, what are your next appearances at cons, festivals or shows where folks can meetcha?
Ursula:
I’ll be at HeroesCon this summer in Charlotte, and at Anthrocon in Pittsburgh.
Jeannie:
Thank you so much for visiting and talking with us!
Ursula:
Glad to be here!
Jeannie:
Ursula also has a blog http://ursulav.livejournal.com/ where you can read her latest news and comments and see images of her fun fashions, travels, and nature photos! That’s all for this segment, but after the break we’ll be right back with more stuff!
Avana-ruru:
(here he comes again with that sign that reads “We’ll be back after the break!”)

(snip)
(one short break later…)
Our Favorite science fiction, fantasy & horror genre
women of color, part 2 (continued from last month)!

Mary Nyan:
This a continuation of last month’s discussion purrtaining to our favorite SF/ F genre ladies who have the distinctively purretty skin of purrimary & secondary colors (eg She-Hulk, Ahsoka Tano, Arcee) This month we mention those much admired female characters more earthly colors of lovely tan & brown. This is in no way meant to be a complete list of all such heroines, but merely a mewsing about many of favorite such characters in visual art, comics, animation, and purrose fiction. We’re not going to attempt to include live-action cinema & television though, for if we did we’d be here for the longest time, and I suspect the banter will ramble on enough just fine!

Nyssa:
There are so many characters and races with dark & different colored skin just like real life. Gosh where to begin? Klingons, Cardassians, Narns, Caitians, why just Star Trek or Star Wars alone would yield long lists
Kianalani:
Ok but let’s stay with visual art, comics, animation, and purrose fiction and don’t stray cat into live action movies & TV, or we’d be going on and on forever!
Ne’ellakaliomi:
Hai!
Ceresatami:
We should start with Star Trek then, and Star Trek’s Lt. Uhura who was later purrmoted to Commander in the movies, nya!
Tsuruku:
I thought we were not doing movies and TV shows!
Ceresatami:
Hai, but there have been plenty of Star Trek comic books for decades by various publishers. And a newspaper strip too!
Tsuruku:
So desu.
Ne’ellakaliomi:
Uhura  is one of the greatest heroines in all of science fiction and she can sing so purrettily too nya. We’re so used to her being originally played by Nichelle Nichols but now in the new movie she’ll be purrtrayed by Zoe Saldana- I hope she has a big part, nya!
Tsuruku:
Next Gen there was Guinan, and DS9’s awesome cast was graced by Jennifer Sisko & Kasidy Yates
Nyanko:
Hmm well if we are including those who made the transition from TV to comix then that would certainly include Doctor Who’s Martha Jones and Firefly’s Zoey! And I think we mentioned all the Jedi girls last month!
Marvel-ous Maidens

Melanakeami:
Marvel Comics include Storm, Misty Knight, Stevie Hunter, Monica Rambeau and Shuri the new Black Panther!

Elizabeth:
Among the black heroines of DC are Vixen, Pantha, Catspaw, XS, Amanda Waller, Natasha Irons, Starlite and Dizzy Cordova!

Mielikki:
On Themyscira, Hippolyte & Diana’s sister Amazons are not just of the Mediterranean, but they’re like also of various ethnicities, such as Euboea and Nubia… and Artemis is partly Greek  of the Bitari, Bana-Mighdallian Amazons of Egypt who included Falizia, Anaya, and others, fur shur!

Jeannie:
Vanessa & her mom, and Elektra are Greek…  and Isis is Egyptian; Talia Al Ghul & her sister are part Arabic, and I believe Zatanna Zatara & her Mom are part Turkish.
Yvonne:
Actress/  author Carolyn Hennesy’s fun Pandora storybook series stars those cute Greek girls Pandy, Alcie and Iole, nya!
Petra:
What is Scarlet Witch Wanda Maximoff’s heritage? Isn’t she a gypsy girl?

Ilyana:
Hai! She is sort of a part jewish gypsy mutant girl. There are several of the Romani heritage at Marvel such as Margali Szardos, Amanda Sefton and Nocturne!
Ilyana:
Hai hai, and there’s also Scorpio Rose, Madame Xanadu, and JLA’s Gypsy!
Nemui:
OK I have a list of several awesome comic book heroines who are black: Cutey Bunny, Martha Washington, Dhalua & Tesla Strong, and Promethea!
Ilyana:
Don’t forget about Coco Gun Bun, Hannah Washington- The Ant, The Walking Dead’s Michonne, Spawn’s wife Wanda… and Bethany of DramaCon!
Mary Nyan:
Valerie of Jose & the Pussycats (purrtrayed by Rosario Dawson in the movie) ; and inSabrina the Teenage Witch’s recent foray into the magic realm there are ladies of every hue including blue Queen Selene who we forgot to mention last time.
Elizabeth:
Oh- you know what- we also forgot about Halo’s A.I girl Cortana oo- she appears in several flavors!

Jeannie:
I am also embarrassed to admit being remiss in omitting Teenage Robot Jenny XJ-9 from last month’s list as well.

Yvonne:
But nobody is purrfect, nya!

Nyanko:
Then we will learn from the mistakes as we purrceed with the current mewsings!
(the girls in unison)
Hai!

Pacific Purrincesses

Meryl:
I like that Hawaiian Purrivate Eye comic book, Koni Waves! Her stories are so much spooky sexy island fun!

Mary Nyan:
Anya of Aspen’s Killian’s Tide, Wildstorm’s Voodoo, Serra of Tellos, DC’s Belyllioth and cute Liza Buzanis in Witchblade!

Lourdessaluorno:
Sadly Aspen & Witchblade’s Michael Turner and Tellos’ Mike Wieringo are no longer with us. April 21st would have been Turner’s 38th birthday.

Mike:
June is a sadly significant month for those comics creators you mentioned: ‘Ringo was born on June 24th, and June 27th is when Turner passed away.
Mielikki:
At Heroes Con in June, many fans & friends of Turner & ‘Ringo will be remembering them so fondly, I am sure!
Elizabeth:
Come to think of it there is a Hawaiian Marvel Comics character I like- the X-Men’s Alani ‘Loa’ Ryan! She can surf and swim!
Ceresatami
Lilo & Stitch are purrhaps my favorite Hawaiian fantasy characters! Tia. Carrere was the voice of Lilo’s sister Nani.
Nyanko:
“Aloha, Scooby Doo!” Grey DeLisle voiced Daphne, who goes surfing! She was also the Hawaiian Shaman Lady. Oh and Tia Carerre did a voice in it too!
Jeannie:
I would like to recommend the anime Rocket Girls, about a girl named Yukari and her half sister Matsuri who become astronauts for the Solomon Island’s space purrogram.

Golden Girls

Tsuruku:
OH gosh we are forgetting one of the most purrkiest heroic girls with the skin of bronze of all time!
Ne’ellakaliomi:
OK?
Tsuruku:
Have no fear- PAT SAVAGE IS HERE!
Yvonne:
Her cousin Doc’s movie by George Pal finally came out on DVD from Warner Archive, nya!
Ne’ellakaliomi:
Ooh and there’s Liberty Girl! Our friend Andrew Pepoy worked on that adventurous comic book!
Elizabeth:
What is that adventurer’s ethnicity?
Ne’ellakaliomi:
Ah actually I am not sure but at the time I was thinking she might be Native American or Hispanic, but I could be wrong.
Elizabeth:
Native American heroines such as Dani Moonstar, Gen 13’s Sarah Rainmaker and Luuna, whose 1st Tokyo Pop volume we reviewed last month!

Yvonne:
Dawnstar of the Legion of Super Heroes is of Native American ancestry, from the planet Starhaven, nya!
Hispanic heroines

Melanakeami:
He also drew Little Orphan Annie’s pilot Amelia Santiago was the tough, pretty hispanic heroine!
Lourdessaluorno:
So desu. Other notable hispanic heroines of comix who come to mind are DC Comics’ Renee Montoya (The Question), Yolanda Montez (Wildcat 2)…
Mary Nyan:
At Marvel are Anya Sofia Corazon (Araña), Maria Vasquez (The Tarantula), Maya Lopez (Echo), Angela del Toro (The White Tiger)..
Yvonne:
I like those were-jaguar grrls currently in IDW’s Angel comic book, nya!
Petra:
– and Don McGregor’s swashbuckling Anita Santiago, aka Lady Rawhide, is most alluring especially when illustrated by top artists such as Julie Bell, Mike Mayhew, Esteban Marato, Fastner & Larsen, Brian Stelfreeze, Thomas Fleming, and Adam Hughes!
Mike:
Lt Rosanna Juanita Winter in Tim Truman’s Scout! Who wants ice cream?
(the girls in unison)
I do!
Ilyana:
What are the flavors?
Mike:
We have purralines ‘n cream, peachy creamy cobbler, chocolate raspberry truffle, nummy mocha mint, nana puddin with nilla wafer bits, cake batter, and the cool key lime sherbet.
Meryl:
I will help serve the dessert.
Lourdessaluorno:
Ruru-chan wants some too!
Avana-ruru:
(holds up a sign reminding everyon of the ever educational Dora the Explorer)
Web Women

Yvonne:
Jenjen’s sexy friend Jackie of the web comic Blackjackeline by Rod Molinaro is from Rio, nya!
Jeannie:
How could I forget? (cryptic smile)
Elizabeth:
Let’s see… we intermiewed Jeff Branch’s “Black Skin Red Blood” character Alexandra Wright who is an African American in Philadelphia, nya!
Mielikki
Jeff”s character Talia aka Sailor Vulcan has like the coolest coppery colored complexion!
Nemui:
And her friend Sharon Williams ‘s character Tanya Sailor Sirius is from Tripoli. Sharon’s Osiris Rising protagonist Nfertari Aaliyah Baltimore is from Brooklyn but lives in Cairo, where she like met the Goddess Isis, nya!I can’t wait to read her latest chapter- they are all such exciting cliff hangers, nya!
Ilyana:
Her stories feature like such a very multicultural cast. Her cute Dark Fires of Cyphyrus character Prya is from Calcutta, Jeneta is from Lagos, Xiang is from Beijing, Heather is English and Angeni is a Sioux girl from South Dakota!
Mielikki:
is Sin Fest’s Monique Japanese?
Elizabeth:
I’m not sure but she seems to cosplay various Japanese purrsonas!
Mike:
Speaking of web comics, we’ve intermewed Jamie’s Clan of the Cats character Lilith, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing, hails from Ethiopia, approximately 28,000 BC.
Nyanko:
We also intermewed Jamie’s Clan of the Cats’ Audrey Kim, Rei Hoshi, and kitsune Akemi Tamiko!
Mary Nyan:
That Rei Hoshi scared me!
Mielikki:
Were-Spiders are so known to do that!

Yvonne:
She puts the web in web comics, nya!
Nemui:
Lolth is the dark spider woman, and of course there are so very many female Drow characters in books, games and paintings

Elizabeth:
Resident Evil 5’s Sheva Alomar is quite sexy & tough and has such interesting outfits and weapons and the lovely mocha complexion. She is voiced by Michelle Van Der Water- who by the way was in that taur movie with Ingrid Pitt!
Yvonne:
Oh are we back to the taur talk?

Mary Nyan:
No that was just a slip!

Yvonne:
Taur Pit, nya!
Mike:
Sigh!
Painted Ladies

Nyanko:
There is a purrticular painting I like by Julie Bell titled Stargiver, heroically depicting legendary 8 time Ms. Olympian Lenda Murrey which is a most magnificently image!

Ceresatami:
Rowena Morrill’s painting “Golem 100” for an Alfred Bester book is of a stunning black damsel in distress.

Tsuruku:
Rowena also painted that glorious “Dark Mermaid” with the lovely ebony skin a shimmering emerald tail making such a splash!

Ne’ellakaliomi:
Mmm hmm! I like the of Black Mermaid Purrductions logo character and the Indian mermaid logo the Ningyo Pearl Bubble Tea Cafe too!
Nemui:
It is the the appurropurriately exotic appealing image that a mermaid would project!
(blushing mermaids giggle)

Kianalani:
Olivia De Beradinis painted some lovely images of that B&W Zebra girl!

Mielikki:
Oh I so like Susan Seddon Boulet’s masterpiece “Pele”! it is radiant as if it was like totally painted with the very glow of the caldera!

Jeannie:
Frank Frazetta’s famous “Egyptian Queen”.

Mary Nyan:
Or the dragon lady of Shusei Nagaoka’s electrifying album cover art for Jefferson Starship’s Spitfire! Yeah!

Avana-ruru
(pokes Dessy)

Lourdessaluorno:
Ru-ru chan reminded me that we should mention chainmail model Rainbowfish who models for Alan Welch’s fantasy imagery!
Mike:
Quite right- I’ve had the pleasure of meeting them both at a few conventions!
Petra:
If you would like to see the most lovely paintings of fantasy women of Africa, Asian, Indian, Hispanic, European, Pacific,  First Nations, and other cultures you should see the work of Karl Bang! He is so very good at painting such ladies with big cats and ornate detail. Two of my favorite paintings are his “Paradise” and “Winter’s Majesty”!

Ilyana:
I’ve seen some jigsaw puzzles of his sumptuous art!
Nyssa:
Do y’all remember Zyra, the Amazon purrincess from Urshurak?

Nyanko:
Hmm… Urshurak sounds kinda familiar but the only Zira I can remember was a chimp lady!

Elizabeth:
Urshur– oh that was a sword & sorcery novel by the Brothers Hildebrandts & Jerry Nichols! I never read it but I remember the lavish illustrations, including the pics of that warrior woman, She seemed rather fierce, and had a great tan!

Nyssa:
That is her. She is tough and beautiful with lithe cat-like grace. The book was lavishly illustrated by Greg & Tim Hildebrandt and was published in 1979! It has the 30th anniversary.
Melanakeami:
Oh- Oh- some of my favorite literary girls are Harry Potter’s Cho Chang, Angelina Johnson and Padma & Parvati Patil!

Petra:
Virgin comics has quality titles, with several Indian heroines such as Devi & Tara Mehta, Snake Woman Jessica Peterson!

Jeannie:
Sofia in Vimanarama and Bombaby the Screen Goddess by Slave Labor comics are other great Indian characters.

Mike:
This might be bending the topic a bit, but in the Marvel Comics adaptation of my favorite movie Star Trek the Motion Picture, the story stars Lt. Ilia!

Mary Nyan:
And how did you segue from India to… oh, Doh! Lt. Ilia was purrtrayed by the late Purrsis Khambatta, a former Miss India! Sigh!

Mike:
Sorry- I couldnae resist!
Mary Nyan:
Well while we’re on the sub-topic of Indian heroines… there’s the Justice League’s Chandi Gupta, aka Maya!
Invincible Asia

Nyanko:
Demon hunter Evangeline ‘Eve” Hollis of Sylvia Day’s Marked urban fantasy series is the tough Japanese supernatural heroine.
Elizabeth:
There are quite a few great other asian women in various American comics, from Milt Caniff’s dangerous Dragon Lady to Mark Crilly’s purrky Akiko! such as  Shi & Tomoe, Jade the vampire, Swift of The Authority & Nautica of Stormwatch, Jodi Morinaka Slayton aka Jet / Backlash, Elephantmen’s Hiromi…
Mielikki
Journalist Lisa Ling, if you like count  that cute comic strip than ran in an issue of Smile Magazine!

Jeannie:
The Dollz’s China, Aspen’s Executive Assistant Iris, The Elemental’s Mary Lo, Jinky Coranado’s Banzai Girl, Ayano in Bloodrayne: Tokyo Rogue…

Yvonne:
There’s David Mack’s Kabuki / Ukiko, Scarab / Keiko & the other Noh Assassin girls… and in Buffy Season 8 have been Satsu, Renee & Aiko, nya!
Petra:
Marvel’s Asian characters include Lady Deathstrike, Jubilee, Karma, Psylocke, Revanche, Amiko Kobayashi, Zoe Ishihara, Itsu, Rumiko Fujikawa, Lotus Shinchuko, Yukio the Ninja, Leiko Wu, Nancy Wu, Mantis, the new Mandarin, Collen Wing… and the different versions of Mariko Yashida / Sunfire!
Mary Nyan:
DC Comics Asian characters include Japan’s Dr, Light, Tsunami, & Shadow; Lady Shiva & daughter Cassandra Cain who are Chinese; the Vietnamese Chesire and Cinder DuBoise; and Mystek & Linda West who are Korean…

Elizabeth:
… Ellen Yin, Grace Choi, and while we’re not big fans of Final Crisis, there’s Japanese Super Young Team’s Shiny Happy Aquazon & Shy Crazy Lolita Canary!
Nyanko:
In Dark Horse Comics’ Godzilla  there’s the recurring Reiko of G-Force, and Ookii’Mune, the island priestess in the colo special by Arthur Adams!
Back in the USSR
Mike:
I just remembered another blue girl, that we forgot to mention last time, but this might be a tad obscure: 10 years ago between Marvel and Dynamite, Cross Plains comics briefly published Red Sonja- the first issue was darn good, by Roy Thomas and Steve Lightle! The blue girl’s name was Sabra, a sorceress who could turn into a ‘Scimitar Tooth’ panther. I got the impression this was set early on in Sonja’s adventuring. Sonja also had a partner in crime, a black girl named T’Shika. Sadly it was a short -lived run, I think they only published the one issue but it was so darn good!
Lourdessaluorno:
Wendy & Richard Pini’s Elfquest’s Leetah, Ember, Savah, ShenShen and the other Sun Folk of Elfquest have the loveliest dark sun kissed tan elf skin!

Nyssa:
That is one of the all time best comics! And Wendy is one of the best artists!
Kianalani:
Her birthday is June 4th!
Ne’ellakaliomi:
Where is Sonja supposed to be from?
Elizabeth:
She is from the steppes of Hyrkania, which is kinda like the Hyperborian Ukraine or Russia.
Mielikki:
The exotic shaman Kaos Moon’s alter ego, the medium Katja Zakkov is from there too!
Tsuruku:
Quantum of Solace’s Olga Kurylenko is from there too! Her character Camille reminds me of a grown up Nadia, of the anime series Nadia- The Sectet of Blue Water!
Ceresatami:
Hai- she does, doesn’t she? Oh I didn’t mean to digress to movies!
Alluring Anime

Jeannie:
Not to worry! But speaking of Nadia, Japanese anime characters with dark  & tan skin include Claudia Grant of Macross, Jun Hono of Mazinkaiser, Urd of Ah My Goddeess, Pirotess of Record of the Lodoss War, Rally Vincent of Gunsmith Cats, Emi of Ghost Sweeper…
Yvonne:
…Tenchi’s Ryo-Ohki and Mihoshi, El Hazard’s Shayla-Shayla Cowboy Bebop’s Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV!, and Zia of The Mysterious Cities of Gold who was mentioned earlier in the show, nya!

Mary Nyan:
Hai! Lamune’s Cacao, Battle Athletes’ Tanya Natdhipytadd, Outlaw Star’s catgirl Aisha Clan-Clan, Escaflowne’s catgirl Merle, Utena’s Anthy, Dot Hack’s Mimiru Tabby and Rena FFX’s Fran…

Melanakeami:
Jenjen already noted Rocket Girls’ Matsuri Morita; how about Love Hina’s Kaolla Su, Winia of Scrapped Purrincess,  El Cazador de la Bruja’s Nadie, Athena Glory of Aria, Witchblade anime’s Masane Amaha, and Bleach’s Yoruichi!
Lourdessaluorno:
Cute little Mutio of Blue Submarine Number Six has multi-colored skin. it’s not just black ‘n white like our Orcagirl friend Formality, but she’s also gray, red, yellow, and pink!
Avana-ruru:
(holds up a sign that reads: Normally that might be rather ostentatious, but Mutio pulls it off beautifully!)

Petra:
How is Formailty? I have not seen her in several months.

Ne’ellakaliomi:
Oh she’s fine! We get emails & twitters from her. She’s gone to Monte Carlo with her office pod!
Magnificent Manga & Manwha
Nyanko:
One of my favorite illustrators & manga artists, Masamune Shirow has drawn many gorgeous tough girrls with the caramel, ebony and oak tan!
Mary Nyan:
Yes he does he is a favored artist! However while we are noting our favorite Asian comic book characters, I should point out that were we to keep listing our favorite Japanese heroines of Japanese manga or anime, it would take forever, given that most of them are Japanese!!
Elizabeth:
Thassa good point. We could continue to purrsue anime & manga in another Mew!
Melanakeami:
Oh Ok… and I was just about to list a few of my favorite manwha!
Mike:
Ah well please go right ahead!
Melanakeami:
‘Kay! This is like a quick list but some of my totally favorite manwha characters are Yu Shu Lien of the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon by Andy Seto & Wang Du Lu! She is the character that Michelle Yeoh played in the movie!  Andy Seto also worked with Tony Wong on The Four Constables which is most lavish. Oh and Tony Wong & Louis Cha did that lovely Legendary Couple series, starring the beautiful Yung Huang!
Lourdessaluorno:
I liked Louis Cha & Wee Tian Beng‘s Return of the Condor Heroes too! Xiaolongnu the ‘Dragon Girl’ is so beautiful and powerful!
Nyssa:
Singapore artist Wee Tian Beng does such splendid illustrations. I highly recommend The Celestial Zone manga! Oh gosh- Myayr, you should cosplay as Xing Llng or Chue Xue!
Lourdessaluorno:
And Lizzy would be a good choice as Tian Yuan!

Elizabeth:
Kewl! Rilly?
Nyssa:
You should do the group cosplay!

Mary Nyan:
I am always open to any new cosplay ideas! So.. are there other heroines of American comics or animation we should include today?
Petra:
How about Juniper Lee, Jackie Chan’s niece Jade, Azula & Katara of Avatar, and Puffy Amiyumi!
Jeannie:
Winx Club’s Layla, Alex of Totally Spies, Taranee & Hay Lin of W.I.T.C.H., Amy Wong of Futurama

Yvonne:
Don’t forget the Kitsune and other characters in Hellboy: Sword of Storms, nya! She was voiced by Gwendoline Yeo, nya!
Delightful Disney & Purrfect Pixar
Nemui:
Disney’s Lilo & Nani, Pocahontas & Nakoma, Purrincess Tiger Lily…
Meryl:
Mulan, Aladdin’s Jasmine, Hunchback’s Esmerelda, Jungle Book 2’s Shanti…
Jeannie:
Kida of Atlantis, Mirage of The Incredibles and Treasure Planet’s catgirl Captain Amelia!
Yvonne:
Captain Amelia is the purrky smart cat, nya.
Elizabeth:
I am looking forward to that Purrincess & Froggy movie that Disney is supposedly going to release later this year!
Ceresatami:
Yay me too! Hey I have a question… Is Kim Possible’s Shego Asian?
Ilyana:
Shego rocks!
Tsuruku:
Hmm- I am not sure! We’ll have to look that up!
Nyanko:
KP’s Yori is Japanese… she is voiced by Keiko Agena! She and fellow Gilmore Girl Lauren Graham are from Hawaii.
Elizabeth:
Of course all of the characters of The Emporer’s New Groove / School are Incan! The ladies on that show had a great voice cast such as Jessica Di Cicco as Malina, Wendie Malick as Chica, Jessir Flower as, Chaca  Miley Cyruss as Yata and the late Ertha Kitt as Yzma!
Ilyana:
Malina rocks!
Mielikki:
-and Tinkerbell’s fellow fey including Iridessa & Silvermist- although regardless of their ethnicity they are all sister fae, fur shur!

Yvonne:
I hope that Disney will soon release Studio Ghibli’s Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, Tales from Earthsea, and Only Yesterday, nya!
Mary Nyan:
According to various animation news web sites, it looks like Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea will be released in the US in August!
(the girls in unison)
Yata!
.
.
.
(yummy sounds of girls happily eating the desserts)

Mike:
Well I guess we’re done with that topic… and that’ll do it for this segment, but we’ll right back… (gets a scoops  ice cream)

Avana-ruru:
(also nibbling a treat) nom nom nom

(snip)
(one short break later…)

Anticipations for Summer Amewsements
Mike:
Welcome back! Ah, we were mentioning how much we’re looking forward to that anime movie by our favorite director Hayao Miyazaki.In the meantime, we have PIxar’s UP! to slake our appetites for animated feature films!
Lourdessaluorno:
Hai Hai- that is part of May Madness!
Nyssa:
Next month’s Mew might immensely make up for it if we get to see all the new movies we wish.
Melanakeami:
Gosh, just in May alone, after Wolverine is Angels & Demons, Star Trek, and Terminator: Salvation in addition to the UP!
Kianalani:
I would like… I would like to see Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell, and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian!
Ne’ellakaliomi:
I’ll bet Jenjen is hot for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, hee!

Jeannie:
Although the purrevious Transformers movie was far too silly, I do plan to lead the robotics club to the matinee show of the sequel.

Yvonne:
We reviewed that movie in the July, 2007 Mew, nya! We did not like it nearly as much as the 80’s animated transformers movie, nya.
Mielikki:
It lacked “The Touch”, hee!
Mary Nyan:
To put things in purrspective, that same month we reviewed Pirates of the Caribbean at World’s End, Fantastic Four- Rise of the Silver Surfer, Ratatouille, Transformers, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Live Free Die Hard Trying!
Petra:
Wow- ironically this year there’s the new Transformers, Pixar, Harry Potter, a new Johnny Depp movie, and no Silver Surfer, but there is Wolverine!
Nemui:
What is the Depp movie? I must see it.
Ilyana:
He stars with Christian Bale in Michael Mann’s Public Enemies! I think it comes out in the same month as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Purrince
Meryl:
Christian Bale is in the new Terminator movie too! He has been busy since Dark Knight.
Jeannie:
My robotics club will see that one too; hopefully it will inspire us to victory in the next robot tournyament!
Nyanko:
Give them hell!
Ceresatami
Hmm who would win, the Scooby ninja robots or the Terminators?!

(Jenjen & Nya-sensi in unison)
The Terminators!
Tsuruku:
Speaking of ninjas, we’ll get to see Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow in GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra!
(everybody in unison)
COBRAAAAAAAA! nya!
Ceresatami
Does Nya-sensei look forward to the Tekken movie?
Nyanko:
Hah… nnnyyyaI’m nyot sure… nor did I see the recent Streetfighter or Dragonball. Although, Tekken does star Chiaki Kuriyama, Tamlyn Tomita, Mircea Monroe, Marian Zapico, Kelly Overton, Candice Hillebrand, and Cassie Shea Watson, so it has the steeped grrl power!
Lourdessaluorno:
I wonder if it will be as good as D.O.A or Mortal Kombat?
Melanakeami:
Heh, thassa good question!

Mike:
I’m also looking forward to the Quentin Tarantino’s and Terry Gilliam’s next movies, but of all of the big summer movies this year Star Trek is the one I am most excited about!
Nyssa:
I would say… Star Trek, Up and… Ponyo!

Kianalani:
Maybe there’ll be some neat Ghibli & Miyazaki stuff at Animazement http://www.animazement.org/ !

Mike:
Or maybe anything related to that new Space Cruiser Yamato movie, which is supposed to be in theaters in Japan this summer- woohoo!

Ne’ellakaliomi:
I bet the crowd at Heroes Conhttp://heroesonline.com/ in June will be enthused for that new Green Lantern OVA, which is due in July, I think!

Elizabeth:
Oh I sure am! I liked the purreview for it that was on the Wonder Woman OVA!

Mielikki:
So like, are there any other Summer DVD releases that y’all are awaiting?

Jeannie:
Hai- the Peanuts 1960’s Collection, of the six Peanuts TV specials from the 60’s. Ironically just last month in our 2009 DVD wish list we hoped for Charlie Brown’s All Stars to be re-issued.

Yvonne:
That set is supposed to have A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Great Pumpkin, All-Stars, A Short Summer, You’re in Love, and He’s Your Dog, Charlie Brown, nya!

Mary Nyan:
I hope to get Coraline, which Lizzy reviewed in March! Thus far it is our favorite film of the year, purrior to the Summer releases.

Ilyana:
I’m mainly looking forward to more of my favorite comics & manga, especially the next issue of Legion of 3 Worlds, and the next volume of the Aria manga!

Petra:
I hope to get Ursula Vernon’s forthcoming storybook “Dragonbreath”, and Jamie Davenport’s pending novel “The Beast Undone”!

Nemui:
While I am so honored to have an Inn so booked up months in advance I do hope to see some of those movies and books!
Mary Nyan:
We hope you have time to join us again too! All of y’all! And now-

Mielikki:
The cat lady sings…

Mike:
I can’t think of a finer thought to wind this mew down on! (stands & raises a glass to toast) Thank you all so very much for joining us- here’s to ya! KAMPAI!

(Myayr, Vonny, Lizzy, Jenjen, Nyanko)
(clinking glasses) KAMPAI! nya!
Ceresatami
Cheers!
Tsuruku:
A votre sante!
Ne’ellakaliomi:
Skal!
Kianalani:
Salud!

Melanakeami:
L’ Chaim!
Nyssa:
Gan bei!
Lourdessaluorno:
Thank you for inviting us back!

Avana-ruru:
(does a victory roll)

Petra:
Purrost!

Meryl:
Here here!

Nemui:
Okole maluna!

Ilyana:
Jamas!

Mielikki:
Like, totally!

Elizabeth:
Qapla’! That’s all for our 2nd anniversary edition of The Mew!

Yvonne:
We would like to thank our special guest Ursula for joining us, nya-

Jeannie:
-and our many friends who were able to be part of this show!

Nyanko:
If y’all have polite sincere responses to our discussion, feel free to post them
-purrvided that such brief remarks are spam-free and stay on-topic-

Mary Nyan:
-and during a movie, turn off your phone or PDA & don’t talk, text, or light it up!

Mike:
Thanks for watching The Mew everybody! We’ll be back with more next month!
Be there… aloha!

(the girls in unison):
Happy tails to mew, until we eat again! BaiBai, nya!

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